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    Brian Michael Bendis unpacks the crazy revelations in Action Comics #1005. Plenty of Superman spoilers await...

    Superman in Action Comics #1005 Red Cloud
    InterviewMarc Buxton
    Nov 28, 2018

    This interview contains major spoilers for Action Comics #1005.


    It’s been a minute since Brian Michael Bendis has taken over the writing chores of Superman and Action Comics, and since then, the famed scribe has rebuilt Superman’s supporting cast, redefined the underworld of Metropolis, and found shocking directions for Superman and his extended family. Well, Action Comics #1005 by Bendis and artist Ryan Sook really turns up the volume. Not only does the issue contain a shocking revelation on the new Superman rogue Red Cloud, it also features the Question and the return of crazy silver age superhero concept, Dial H for Hero!


    There’s a lot to unpack about this issue, so we thought we’d let Brian Michael Bendis do it for you! Again, spoilers a-comin' so go read Action Comics #1005 first!


    At the end of the issue, we learn that the deadly Red Cloud is actually one of Clark Kent’s fellow Daily Planet reporters! We’ll let you discover which one, but suffice to say, Superman will now have to face a foe like no other, a reporter gone bad. With that in mind, take it away, Mister Bendis...



    Den of Geek: We’re here for Action Comics #1005, which just sounds odd.


    Brian Michael Bendis: It’s always weird. I’m writing Action #1010 right now, and it’s very strange to type that number.


    Whoa, that revelation! Talk about the creation of Red Cloud.


    This is all spoilers, I don’t know how to talk about this without spoiling. I was doing research on United States of Murder Inc., which is a lot of mob stuff. Decades ago, a mobster got a job at a newspaper specifically to keep an eye on what they know about the Family. That idea just stuck out to me. It could be used for someone at The Daily Planet. They can do what Clark does but for their own purposes. It was just so exciting.


    It really reflected how bad at hiring Perry White is (laughs).


    Even J. Jonah Jameson never went that far, and he hired Eddie Brock.


    Look who Perry hired. Even Clark, Clark is terrible.


    Steve Lombard! They’re all terrible!


    Oh my goodness, Steve Lombard! He’s an HR nightmare.


    But this idea, that someone would use the Planet the way Clark does…someone really getting a job there that was immoral and making a life out of it was really intriguing.


    There have been immoral people at the Daily Planet, but not a straight up super villain.


    Yeah, someone who is flat out evil and never know they’re doing the same thing Superman does.


    It’s almost like a pseudo-Bizarro Clark Kent.


    Yeah, in a way that hasn’t been done. Bizarro has shown up at the Planet.



    Yeah, that was the beginning of Fake News. Let’s move to Dial H for Hero. I assume the inclusion of the Dial will lead into Sam Humphries and Joe Quinones’ Dial H for Hero Wonder Comics title.


    Absolutely. It was the idea to craft them together for Wonder Comics. Action Comics #1005 is a nice introduction for what the Dial is for people who don’t know. It’s one of the best ideas of comics and this allowed us to introduce it into continuity and let people who kind of want to know that, yes, Wonder Comics are in continuity. I have people very worried or concerned if Wonder Comics will be in continuity. They are. This is just another hint that they are.


    further reading: Grant Morrison's Return to the DC Universe


    Well, you made it clear that Wonder Comics are in continuity. I don’t know where that perception comes from.


    You know what? It’s one of three subjects that come up where that’s going to happen. People need to hear it. It’s okay.



    Will the Dial story continue in Action or in the new book?


    It’s a transition but it’s also an introduction. There will be more H Dial in Action, but this was really the introduction of the Question into the storyline which will build and build and build. It’s an extended cameo, but the Question’s presence will build into a big thing we’re going to do next summer. I’m excited about the Question because, wow! People really wanted me on the Question and it’s rare I give people what they actually want. I was excited to do it. I’m rarely on the exact same page as people. When it was first announced I was coming to DC, literally, the Question was the most requested character.


    Yeah, when you took your place at DC, me and a bunch of Den of Geekers were talking about what books we would love to see you on. To a person, everyone said Question.


    I was immensely flattered by that. I hold the character and his creators in the highest regard, including my dearest Greg Rucka. So, what we’re doing is, this is the introduction and we’ll slowly find out what the Question has found out about what Clark doesn’t know.


    So, what’s the Bendis Question connection? To your old time fans it’s obvious, but why is the marriage of you and the Question such a thing?


    I think the Question fits into the same realm as Jessica Jones, the midlevel detective that can go to the highest heights or the lowest lows. Which I’m flattered by. Also, what will I do with all those non-facial expressions?


    That’s for your artist to decide.


    That’s right, and may I say? It’s funny, I so rarely do this. When Ryan handed in the pencils of the Question, I posted it online immediately. It was one of those joyous moments. I always wanted to write Action Comics, and to have a scene with Dial H and the Question in it, it was the most Action Comics DC scene I could ever write in a million years. Then Ryan handed in that artwork, and it was so gorgeous and I’ve loved Ryan my whole life and here we are making comics together. It’s the best feeling. That page of the Question made me so happy. It was also the final proof that this move to DC was such a good idea.



    Did you pee a little when it was confirmed that Ryan Sook was going to draw the Question for you?


    Yeah, I have an even more complicated answer. Ryan signed on to do these issues of Action. Next issue, I said could you draw Clark looking through the entire building of The Daily Planet in perspective, every corner of the Daily Planet and show every story that’s going on? And he did it!


    You’re trying to kill the man!


    It’s amazing. What’s really exciting is that after this run on Action, Ryan and I are headed off to the biggest project either of us has ever tried.


    And you’re going to break that news right now on Den of Geek, right?


    Yes, it’s Sugar and Spike! (laughs)


    God bless you. Dial H for Hero has always been one of those awesome fringe properties. China Mieville had a fun take a few years ago. Will Pfeifer did H.E.R.O. in 2003. Why do creators go back to this concept again and again?


    It’s a phenomenal concept. It’s like the genie’s magic lamp. You rub the lamp and it grants your wish. But it’s so specific to our genre. Anyone in comics would be like, “Yeah, I’d like super powers for one hour.” It also feels like you can have all the fun with none of the responsibility.


    I think you just hit a tag line for the new book.


    Yeah, it’s like I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, right? But honestly, it’s one of the first things that came out of my mouth when I started this run. I really believe Dial H is one of the best ideas in comics. The retro angle of the dial phone is back in vogue again. Sam and Joe were perfect casting.


    further reading: Brian Michael Bendis and the Future of Jinxworld at DC


    Tell us what you know about Sam Humphries' coming series? He’s killing it on Harley Quinn these days. What conversations did you have with Sam about Dial H for Hero?


    Well, Sam and I, the minute we started working together at Marvel on Guardians of the Galaxy, we did the Black Vortex together, we really enjoyed each other’s company. But my favorite Sam is Black Bird Sam (Note: Black Bird is Sam Humphries' Image Comics project. Go buy it. It’s good.). For people who read Black Bird, you can see Sam is in a really special place lately. I approached him with this and asked, “Can I for some of that very special Sam Humphries magic in Dial H?” And it’s great, because it’s an idea Sam never wrapped his head around; he never thought about it. So, he really took the assignment and really made it his own. He and Joe are just amazing casting. I worked with Joe, I know what Joe is capable of, and Dial H is exactly what he should be doing.


    Hey, DC has this new platform and there’s the CW. Dial H would make for a great episodic weekly TV series, wouldn’t it? Hint, hint.


    I think that’s a great idea that we should make viral. Let’s get that out in the world.


    Talk about rebuilding the Metropolis underworld.


    Yeah, people get focused on Superman’s level of power; they could miss ways in which to deal with him. This invisible Mafia is based on some real research and real behaviors the Mafia has had. You know the Mafia, the original Mafia, was a secret. People didn’t know about them for years. Until an informant walked off the street and told the FBI that there’s a Mafia. That’s how it was found out. Historically, this secret can go for a while. Here you have the people that are thriving around Superman’s life. And in a few issues we’re going to find out who is running the Metropolis mafia.


    further reading: Brian Michael Bendis on Hope and the Man of Steel


    Getting into the Kirby of it all with the Metropolis Mob stuff, I love how this issue feels like an old George Reeves Adventures of Superman episode with Clark Kent, intrepid Reporter front and center. That so feels like it’s in your wheelhouse. Talk about the appeal of reporter Clark.


    Aww, thank you! We’ve talked earlier, we’ve been zeroing in on the idea that a lot of things Clark’s life that have been thrust upon him, the idea of responsibilities that the world gave you. For him, they were big. You are being sent to Earth and you’re going to be Superman. But what Clark decided to do with his life is be Clark Kent. He didn’t need a job. He didn’t need to be a reporter. He looked around the world and said, “What can I do for myself?” and the he said, “I’m going to be Lois Lane.” So, the Invisible Mafia, the entire focus of Action Comics is that hitting is not the answer. Clark is the answer.


    Yeah, he really is that super tough reporter. Not the Christopher Reeve reporter, the George Reeves reporter.


    Yeah, we’re going to see in the next storyline that he’s going to go undercover. We’re going to see Clark be Clark.


    So we did Dial H and we did the Question…


    Will there be more Wonder Comics teases in Action Comics? Yes!


    I live to see the Wonder Twins! Are we going to see more Bendis Question? And are there any other left of center DC properties you are dying to get your hands on?


    Well, you’re going to see me write a lot of the Question, not necessarily in a solo book, but a surprising amount, so I’ll meet you halfway on that. At the moment I’m curating Young Justice which involves Amethyst and Gemworld, Dial H for Hero, Naomi, which involves her entire secret which is enormous, and the Wonder Twins. If you include everything that’s going on in Young Justice - which is Conner and, Cassie - we have eleven fandoms being curated in one imprint at one time. And that’s just what we’re starting with. It’s a lot. I’ll focus on these. Gemworld is enormous. It’s Lord of the Rings enormous.


    further reading: Dan Abnett on the end of an Aquaman era


    Should I hold my breath for El Dorado and Apache Chief?


    I’m hearing a lot of Apache Chief noise on Twitter lately. I’m not exactly sure. Because of Wonder Comics and Wonder Twins I’m seeing a lot of people asking for Apache Chief. I got like thirty Apache Chief tweets.


    Have you goggled how to spell "inuk chuk?"


    That’s the beauty of me. I never google how to spell anything.


    What appeals to you about the character of the Question?


    He’s one of those characters like Daredevil who’s always been handled by an exceptional creator. There’s never been anyone who has sucked at writing the Question. He’s always drawn great. Denys Cowan, that’s my jam. I’ve always loved pulp crime comics, so there you go. I’m such good friends with Greg Rucka, and him standing over me while I’m doing this is a little daunting.


    Red Cloud is revealed, so tease what’s next for Superman and this new villain.


    That’s the cool thing. This is what I’m most excited about. It’s a rare opportunity for a villain, every issue of every comic a villain jumps a hero and isn’t successful. Someone jumps Batman every seven pages and Batman beats the shit out of him. This villain jumps Superman and shockingly was successful. That changes everything. She tried it, and now that changes her place in the DC Universe.


    I’m guessing Red Cloud is from Gemworld.


    Ha, no. But I will tell you there’s a connection between Gemworld technology and Kryptonian technology. They are both crystal based. There’s a little Wonder Comics tease. There you go.



    Let’s finish with a tease on what’s coming in Superman and Action.


    People can already see on the cover of the next issue of Superman that Jonathan Kent is coming back and he’s been aged up and been through a lot. People are already assuming the worst for me, that we’re turning Jon into a murderous Superboy. But that story we’re going to tell, I’m happy to say, is much more labored and about the characters and the family. We’re going to see what the secret between Jon and his grandfather is. I’ll give you two words: Crime Syndicate. It’s all these pieces, Zod and the Phantom Zone, it’s all these piece that come together in the Unity Saga which is going to bring into the DC Universe something we didn’t have before in modern day.


    You get yelled at for things you don’t do. I can’t recall you ever turning any character bad.


    It’s funny. I think it’s me personally. Then you realize it’s all of us. When I was at Marvel and Geoff Johns was at DC, I said to Geoff, “You don’t get hit as hard as I do.” And he went, “What! Go look at the DC message boards.” It was funny, I was happy I did, he was clobbered. People are worried because they love Jon. When a character is beloved, and they see him on the cover with fire coming out of his eyes, they’re not wrong to be worried. But I can tell you that what’s going to happen to him is much more nuanced than people might think. And I love these characters. I’m not in the business to destroy their ideals. I want to explore them and challenge them and look to ourselves when we think about them. That’s what it’s about.


    Action Comics #1005 is on sale today!


    Marc Buxton is an English teacher/private tutor by day and a former comic retailer who reads way too many comics, often choosing his Wednesday haul over groceries. Read more of his work here.


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    Steve Orlando on his Superman story in DC's Nuclear Winter Special, the future DCU of Electric Warriors, and Martian Manhunter.

    Steve Orlando DC Comics
    InterviewJim Dandy
    Nov 28, 2018

    Let’s say you’re one of the two biggest comic companies in a pop culture world overtaken by comics. You’ve got a massive gap in your continuity timeline, bookended by two passionate, vocal fanbases. What do you do?

    Let’s ask a different question: you’ve got one character from your flagship team who’s a relatively blank slate. He’s seen a ton of love sent his way as part of the team book, but his most memorable backstory is from a seminal, all-time classic pinnacle-of-the-medium type book and an episode of the cartoon he was in. Who do you go to and say “Hey, fill these in?”

    If you’re DC Comics, you ask the guy who made the Justice League meet the God of Super Heroes.

    DC's Nuclear Winter Special Cover

    Steve Orlando has been writing comics for more than a decade and working with DC/Vertigo for almost half of that time. And since he started getting regular writing work with DC, he’s dug deep into some of the most complicated continuities they have available, a perfect lead up to his new big projects - Electric Warriors, taking place between the Great Disaster of Jack Kirby’s Kamandi and the bright, utopian future of Legion of Super-Heroes; and Martian Manhunter, a prestige, semi-continuity-adjacent limited series that’s going to work as a sort of “year one” for J’onn J’onzz, the linchpin of the Justice League. And he’s loving playing around with these worlds.

    “Continuity and lore, it should be like a welcome mat, an on-ramp for people,” Orlando tells Den of Geek. “It shouldn't be a wall...the big thing for me is less how can we put in a bunch of Easter eggs and more how can we make sure that it's inviting and fresh and makes you want to find out more instead of just saying oh my gosh, there's so much I have to know.”

    Both series are heavily invested in worldbuilding: Electric Warriors for the 400 year lead up to the Legion, and Martian Manhunter for Martian politics and culture before J’onn’s departure for Earth. We got a taste of some of that worldbuilding in DC's Nuclear Winter Special that is currently on sale. “I was lucky we were deep in the development of Martian Manhunter with Riley [Rossmo, artist on the series] when DC came to me to talk about doing this story for Nuclear Winter,” Orlando says. “It was an opportunity to take a lot of the worlds we built for Martian Manhunter in our own book and spread it into this DCU story and give it a little bit of a preview.” But the main book is going to be laser focused on telling the story of J’onn adapting to Earth. “We wanted to tell a story that is all about John and his world before he sort of starts living large as a superhero and focus more on his hero's journey and coming out as a Martian Manhunter.”

    Electric Warriors is no less steeped in DC mythology, despite being essentially a blank slate for continuity: it takes place in the dark ages between The Great Disaster, the cataclysm that eradicated human society some time vaguely in the future of the DC Universe; and the 3018 of the Legion of Super Heroes, the future superteens inspired to superheroics by legends of Superman that have survived the intervening 3000 years, unlike almost all other information. This time period is essentially an empty vessel of DC continuity, and Steve and his art partner, Travel Foreman, are pouring a ton of other stuff into it. Electric Warrior (singular) was originally an out-of-continuity dystopia from long time Batman writer Doug Moench back in the ‘80s, and while this book isn’t a direct continuation or adaptation, it’s certainly along the same lines. “[The original Electric Warrior] had a very harsh lens for the social society of the 1980s and the sort of patrician, yuppy culture that it was a reaction to and in that respect being critical of wealth, being critical of classism and things like that is part of the book,” Orlando said. “We take a lot of the spirit from it.”

    The book has a recently reunified Earth society where the super-smart animals and humans are no longer at war, and sees them trying to reenter the galactic community. That means it gets to play with the rich stellar continuity of DC Comics - the first issue alone has the Gil’Dishpan (the hovering aquatic Nutri-grain bars with a knack for diplomacy) and sector 666 (birthplace of the Red Lanterns) prominently featured. Orlando promises more. “Using characters like the Khunds, using characters like the Dominators, what we really wanted to do with Electric Warriors is throw up some flares and send some love notes to not just the King but a bunch of different eras of DC comics that were formative. That's why we have references to Invasion. That's why the Vrangs are in there, because when you're talking about Kirby era creators you have to be talking about Curt Swan as well. We're using all of these iconic moments in DC comics as a framework and as a foundation.”

    Of course, all this worldbuilding isn’t anywhere near as effective without being paired with some truly stellar artists. Orlando’s DC career is filled with some of the best artists in the industry - ACO and Fernando Blanco on Midnighter/Midnighter and Apollo; Ivan Reis on Justice League of America; Brad Walker on their Nuclear WInter Special story; and now Riley Rossmo on Martian Manhunter and Travel Foreman on Electric Warriors. He tells us that there’s no trick to landing great art teams, but it works out better when you let talented artists do their thing. “There's a lot of places in the scripts where I leave things relatively open for Travel or Riley or honestly for Travis Lanham and Derek Dunnett who had lettered, letter team and production team as well. They know how to best achieve what we're going for and we're all a team,” Orlando said. “We know what we can do best and what you get there is a book where everybody's singing. That's what you're getting with Martian Manhunter and that's what you're getting with Electric Warriors.“

    Martian Manhunter#1, by Orlando and Rossmo, and Electric Warriors #2 by Orlando and Foreman, are out on December 12th. DC’s Nuclear Winter Special, with a great Superman One Million short by Orlando and Brad Walker, is on sale now. 


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    Gilead will get an update as Margaret Atwood takes on the present in upcoming Handmaid's Tale novel sequel, The Testaments.

    News Tony Sokol
    Nov 28, 2018

    Margaret Atwood plans to fill in the gaps between the stories in her next novel, a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood tweeted her upcoming book will be called The Testaments. It is set to be published by Penguin Random House in September 2019.

    "Yes indeed to those who asked: I’m writing a sequel to The #HandmaidsTale," Atwood confirmed on Twitter. "#TheTestaments is set 15 years after Offred’s final scene and is narrated by three female characters. It will be published in Sept 2019."

    “Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book," Atwood says in the video teaser that came with the announcement. "Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in.”

    Before Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault, showed up at his confirmation hearing for the U.S. Supreme Court in September, demonstrators dressed in the red robe and white bonnet of the handmaidens were waiting for him. The robe-and-bonnet uniform has also been seen at pro-choice rallies in Argentina and Ireland.

    The Handmaid’s Tale was originally published in 1985. Set in a dystopian America known as Gilead, where women are used as breeding vessels after a fertility crisis, and are not allowed to read or write, The Handmaid’s Tale is a modern classic. The book follows Offred, a handmaid, a Gilead term for a slave taken from their families and forced to become surrogates for the rich and powerful.

    The novel ends ambiguously with Offred getting into a van headed for freedom or betrayal. Atwood did not mentioner whether any of the three female characters narrating The Testaments will be Offred.

    The Handmaid’s Tale was adapted by Hulu into an award-winning television series last year starring Elisabeth Moss. The Testaments will not be connected to the television version, which continues Offred’s story.

    Atwood has written over 40 books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her novels include Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, which was made into a miniseries by Netflix, The Blind Assassin, and Oryx and Crake. The Hulu series won the 2017 Emmy award for outstanding drama series. The show extends beyond the novel’s ending and is currently gearing up for a season 3.

    The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 is expected to premiere in 2019.

    Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City's Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.


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    Nightflyers is an imperfect but worthy George R.R. Martin adaptation and another win for Syfy.

    This is a spoiler-free review.

    Let me begin by confessing that I am a huge fan of The Expanse, both the book and the TV series. With that one show, the Syfy Channel raised their profile dramatically among hard science fiction geeks and elevated their programming back to Battlestar Galactica levels. With their newest offering in the genre, Nightflyersthey are poised to do it again. If, that is, the show can achieve enough momentum to break orbit instead of backsliding into the gravity well of schlock. 

    Before we go any further, we need to be very clear: potential viewers surfing the internet for reviews will hear the inevitable comparison to the 1997 film Event Horizon. It is an easy leap to make, lest we forget that Nightflyers was originally a Locus Award winning novella published in 1980 by George R. R. Martin. Adapted into a low-budget film in 1987 it would be unfair to say the two films were similar or even related. Thematically, however, there is a grey area. The specific themes being hard science fiction. And horror. 

    And you will get plenty of horror in the opening sequence of the season premiere of Nightflyers.The tension ramps up so quickly that this viewer was grinding her teeth and breaking into a flop sweat. Seriously. We are talking a series opening as jarring as some of the scenes in season 1 of the Walking Dead. Which is pretty damn impressive for Syfy. The success of that opening scene was in no small part thanks to the excellent acting chops of Gretchen Mol as Dr. Matheson and Angus Sampson as Rowan. 

    further reading: Nightflyers: Inside the George R.R. Martin Syfy Series

    We find these two, passengers on the colony space ship the Nightflyer, locked in horrific conflict before the story cuts back to the beginning of their ill-fated journey. Can you guess why they are on a colony ship? Sure you can! No one will be surprised to find out that in the near future, a colony ship is a necessity because – wait for it – humans have pretty much trashed the Earth.

    This is where the series takes its first of many major departures from the novella. For those of you familiar with hard science fiction from the 70’s and 80’s, the motivation for space travel was less a product of our destroying our home planet, and more a function of the natural growth of the human species or the drive to explore. All while retaining the stereotypical failings and frailty of our kind. Will this change serve to modernize the story? Hard to say until we see what kind of payoff the finale brings.  

    Another major departure was in the casting of the extremely attractive David Ajala as Captain Eris. Not to complain, Ajala is quite capable (with a pensive stare that reminded this viewer of a young Tim Curry) but in print Eris was physically frail and wholly dependent on his technology. That aspect of plot development made his character even more compelling. The question is whether the writing will support Ajala and the character who should be his counterpoint, Jodie Turner-Smith, cast as Melantha, through the same powerful narrative arc, now that one of their major obstacles (a lack of physicality) has been erased.  

    But, as this is television, instead of one or two simple protagonists there is an ensemble cast all of whom have the opportunity to grow and develop. Or die horribly. Did we mention this is space horror originally written by George R. R. Martin?  

    The entire reason for the mission is so that Karl D’Branin (Eoin Macken) can make contact with a space anomaly, which he believes to be a spacecraft, belonging to an advanced alien species which, if they chose to help, would allow humans to travel to hospitable planets faster, thereby saving the race. What could possibly go wrong? Eris agrees to support the mission, using his Nightflyer to intercept these aliens. But things start to go wrong pretty quickly for D’Branin and his team of scientists (and Eris, and the crew of the Nighflyer). Hell, everything goes to shit super fast. 

    Because there is something on the ship with them. Something malevolent and evil which causes both gory hallucinations and technical malfunctions. Which is where the Event Horizon comparisons come in. The scientists and the crew begin to mistrust each other, the ship seems to come alive and act with ill intent. To make matters worse, D’Branin included a telepath on his team, someone who is universally feared and reviled for his powers. 

    Again we see all the hallmarks of Martin’s storytelling style. The characters are deeply flawed, each one has their own motivation, and the story is propelled forward by their interactions and mistakes as much as by the deus ex machina

    Also, boobs. Dear SyFy, we get it, the show is set in the “future” and we all assume that in the “future” people will be less intimidated by nudity. But if you really want to show a liberated, quasi-Swedish sentimentality, you would show a diverse range of nudity (read: hairy ass) and not just multiple shots of gratuitous, extremely attractive boobs.

    We all love boobs, but this clearly isn’t progressive, it’s pandering.    

    Despite the overt sexualization of the leading female characters, there is a lot of compelling subtext. What is perception? What is truth? How objective are our memories and how much do they define us as people and as a species? What drives D’Branin and Eris to take on this mission, hurtling farther from Earth than anyone has dared to go, on a mission to explore and learn and make contact?

    Will Nighflyerpursue these questions, which really lie at the heart of the horror of the human condition, with as much depth as Martin did? The potential for another excellent series is within reach, but only if the producers at Syfy overcome the temptation to descend into the heavy handed gothic horror that inspired the novella and keep the story focused, laser like, on the agony of being trapped and alone in a nightmare from which there is no escape, while hurtling forgotten through the void. 

    3.5/5
    ReviewGerri Mahn
    Nov 29, 2018

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    This is not the only literary adaptation in the works at The CW.

    News Kayti Burt
    Nov 30, 2018

    We love City of Ghosts, V.E. Schwab's middle grade series about a girl who can see ghosts who is dragged to the most haunted places in the world by her ghost-hunter TV personality parents. Now, it's in development to get a CW TV adaptation!

    According to Variety, The CW is developing the novel that will be a series as a TV show. If eventually picked up, the series will be a one-hour drama. Notably, The CW has aged protagonist Cassidy Blake up to the network's key demo age. In the books, Cassidy is 12; in the proposed CW adaptation, she will be college-aged.

    According to the news announcement, Cassidy moves to Scotland not with her parents, but to study paranormal psychology at the University of Edinburgh "in hopes of learning more about her strange connection to the afterlife." While in Scotland, she meets the "enigmatic" Dr. Barrow, while also learning thaty her gift is more powerful than she realized.

    Further reading: For V.E. Schwab, Vengeful Was a Struggle Worth the Effort

    Karen Wyscarver and Sanford Golden are attached as writers and executive producers for the project. They have previously worked on Taken, NCIS: New Orleans, and Bones. Pretty Little Liars creator/showrunner I. Marlene King is also on board as an executive producer, alongside Long Lake Media's Lauren Wagner.

    As always, City of Ghosts isn't the only show currently in development at The CW... it's not even the only literary adaptation... it's not even the only literary adaptation for an author we love here at Den of Geek. The CW is also reportedly developing an adaptation of The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, Theodora Goss'feminist reimagining of some of western literature's most classic canon.

    Now can we have our Villains series TV adaptation, please? Syfy, we're looking at you for this one.

    More news on the City of Ghosts TV series, and CW's other projects in development, as we hear it. 

    City of Ghosts is now available for order via Amazon and your local independent bookstore.

    Kayti Burt is a staff editor covering books, TV, movies, and fan culture at Den of Geek. Read more of her work here or follow her on Twitter @kaytiburt.


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    Deadpool and Spider-Man have a long history, and Wade has been getting on Peter's nerves for years.

    Spider-Man and Deadpool
    FeatureGavin Jasper
    Nov 30, 2018

    Spider-Man and Deadpool are like two sides of the same coin. Their outfits look a lot alike, they have similar builds, they both like to joke endlessly as a front to hide their personal issues, etc.

    Plus they both have a tendency to annoy Wolverine on a regular basis.

    But for a while, they weren't really compatible outside of that. Spider-Man has upstanding morals and despite living a tragic and surreal lifestyle as a superhero, he at least juggles it with something resembling a normal life. Deadpool is stuck in his tragic and surreal lifestyle with no real normalcy mixed in. He’s also responsible for a kill count that’s somewhere in the triple digits (at least) and that is NOT something Spider-Man’s cool with.

    Peter Parker is simply a grounded man and is constantly taken out of his comfort zone when dealing with a guy more out there and sillier than him with less of a grasp on what it means to be a good human being.

    It used to be that Deadpool sharing the page with Spider-Man was a rarity as making jokes about Deadpool’s similarities seemed to be a better fit, and boy, did we get a lot of those. Still, over the years, the two have crossed paths more and more and only recently have we reached the point where Marvel has decided they should probably have an actual relationship for once. Something that goes farther than, “Spider-Man would rather team up with anybody else right now. Even D-Man.”

    Here are their various fights and team-ups throughout the years.

    WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT COINCIDENCE

    DEADPOOL V.1 #11

    Joe Kelly and Pete Woods, 1997

    Not only is this the earliest meeting between the two, but it’s also one of the best Deadpoolissues of all time. After fighting with the Great Lakes Avengers (temporarily calling themselves “The Lightning Rods” to piggyback on the Thunderbolts’ success), Deadpool and his captive mother figure Blind Al accidentally get sent back in time. They end up in a 1960s Amazing Spider-Man issue, which I guess means ten years earlier in comic book time. Specifically, it’s Amazing Spider-Man #47, where Spider-Man fought Kraven the Hunter and saved the life of Norman Osborn.

    further reading: Every Marvel Easter Egg in the Deadpool Movie

    Using an image inducer, Deadpool is able to pretend to be Peter Parker while he gets Blind Al to pass as Aunt May. The actual interaction between the two characters is minimal and is mainly just Wade getting Peter out of the picture. The rest of the issue is all about Deadpool fighting Kraven and acting completely horrified at the genetic weirdness of Harry Osborn and his father’s hair style.

    DEADPOOL ALMOST DESTROYS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE

    J. Calafiore, circa 2000

    Artist J. Calafiore was tasked with doing a fill-in comic for Deadpool’s first ongoing, just in case one of the regular issues was hit with delays. While it got as far as being inked, the one-shot was deemed unnecessary and outdated after a while and never got released or even finished. Calafiore ended up posting the pages online along with a Word document of the dialogue and narration. Someone added word bubbles to make it a bit easier to read and it’s been floating around the internet for years.

    further reading - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Review

    The issue is about Deadpool accidentally causing an alien invasion and needing to gather Earth’s heroes to help defend New York City. While they’re successful, he spends the pages annoying the likes of the Avengers, Thunderbolts, Captain Marvel (Genis Vell), and so on. Plus the book is told in reverse order for very little reason.

    Deadpool briefly comes across Spider-Man in the melee and the two don’t appear to step on each other’s toes. Deadpool asks about his doctor, which is explained at the end of the book. Since the end of the book is the beginning of the story because of the Memento storytelling, Deadpool complains about catching a cold and wonders aloud where someone like Spider-Man goes when he gets sick.

    EXILES: ANOTHER ROOSTER IN THE HENHOUSE

    EXILES #12-13

    Judd Winick and Mike McKone, 2002

    Exiles, the comic about a bunch of Marvel characters from alternate realities teaming up and fixing other realities, featured a more violent offshoot “Weapon X” team. Briefly, this team included Deadpool and the Spider. Deadpool didn’t appear to be too different from the mainstream one we all know and love, but the Spider is certainly unique. He’s Peter Parker having bonded to the Carnage symbiote.

    Even though they are teammates, the two don’t really interact in any notable way. Then they’re shortly killed off, so that’s that.

    AN AGE OF APOCALYPSE

    CABLE/DEADPOOL #15

    Fabian Nicieza and Patrick Zircher, 2005

    Cable has gone missing from reality and due to Deadpool’s biological link to him (long story), he’s used as a conduit to find him. Joined with Cannonball and Siryn, Deadpool goes from world to world in search of his on-again/off-again pouch-buddy. In this issue, the three of them cross paths with 3/4 of the Four Horsemen in a world where Apocalypse successfully conquered the planet.

    further reading: Who is Cable?

    The Horsemen include Archangel as Death, Blob as Famine, and a mutated Spider-Man as Pestilence. Although Cannonball is able to save Deadpool and the good guys win the battle, Cannonball’s still rather taken aback by the idea that Spider-Man of all people could be corrupted as Apocalypse’s puppet.

    Things get more horrifying for the trio when Cable appears, revealing that he’s this world’s Horseman of War...

    STICKY SITUATIONS

    CABLE/DEADPOOL #24

    Fabian Nicieza and Patrick Zircher, 2006

    Here’s the first meaningful crossover between our two heroes. In a story that’s way too complicated to explain because it’s Fabian Nicieza and that’s his thing, Deadpool is looking for a Daily Bugle reporter who happens to be driving with Peter Parker on a bridge. Not really thinking about his actions, Deadpool tears Parker from the car and flings him off the bridge, realizing a moment later that – whoops – he probably just killed that innocent man.

    Naturally, Spider-Man shows up and fighting happens. What’s great is that Deadpool keeps referring to Spider-Man’s “Tobey Maguire teary doe eyes,” although Spidey has no idea what he’s talking about.

    further reading: Everything You Need to Know About the X-Force Movie

    Cable watches the whole thing go down from afar (via staring into the internet, basically. It’s complicated) and doesn’t like the fact that Deadpool appears to be using innocent people as human shields. Without Deadpool knowing, Cable helps diffuse the situation and Spider-Man is practically forced to let Deadpool go.

    He’s pretty steamed about it too, since Deadpool claims he knew Spider-Man was around to rescue Parker from the fall.

    ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN: DEADPOOL

    ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #91-94

    Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, 2006

    So even though Deadpool has rarely ever crossed paths with Spider-Man by this point, his only real Ultimate Marvel appearance is in the pages of Spider-Man’s book. To be fair, it is mainly because at this point in Ultimate Spider-Man’s continuity, Peter Parker is dating Kitty Pryde and therefore he gets roped in with one of the X-Men’s adventures.

    further reading: The Many Spider-Men of the Spider-Verse

    Said adventure involves the team and Spider-Man being kidnapped by the Reavers and placed on the island Krakoa, where they’re to be hunted down with their deaths broadcast across the internet. The Reavers are anti-mutant cyborgs who had their bodies augmented to make them a match for the X-Men. Their leader is Deadpool, otherwise known as Sgt. Wadey Wilson. While he’s not as goofy as his regular self, he does have some sick sense of humor and is even more hideous.

    Spider-Man unmasks him to reveal a fleshless face covered in a clear, plastic dome. Thanks to Kitty, Deadpool’s body is blown up, but the epilogue reveals that he’s still in one piece. Not that the comic would ever follow up on that.

    SYMBIOSIS MITOSIS

    CABLE/DEADPOOL #50

    Fabian Nicieza and Reilly Brown, 2008

    Cable had been written off into his own solo series where he traveled through the future, so after a while they kind of had to put an end to the Cable/Deadpool team-up series. The final arc involves a bunch of time travel and in the final issue, Deadpool accidentally brings a bunch of dinosaurs with him into New York City. That’s bad enough on its own, but this is during the time when Bendis’ Avengers comics are dealing with a symbiote outbreak.

    Now we have symbiote dinosaurs. Yikes.

    Immediately, Spider-Man gets involved and blames this on Deadpool, although he’s only half right. The two work together briefly as Spider-Man gives the lowdown on how to hurt the creatures, since symbiotes are his thing. Spider-Man then swings off and tells Deadpool to stay out of trouble or else.

    Deadpool does eventually get rid of the dinosaurs and momentarily gains the respect of the superheroes, but Spider-Man’s not around to react to that.

    DEADPOOL: SUICIDE KINGS #3-5

    Mike Benson and Carlo Barberi, 2009

    Suicide Kingsis a miniseries about Tombstone framing Deadpool for an act of terrorism. That causes Deadpool to be hunted down by vigilantes and he crosses paths with Daredevil, the Punisher, and eventually Spider-Man. Prior to their current series, it's easily the most true-blue Spider-Man/Deadpool team-up in their history, since there’s very little conflict.

    Well, other than the two spending their energy making fun of each other’s lame rogues galleries to the point that Daredevil loses his patience and walks away.

    further reading: Venom Comics Reading Order

    The two red-clad heroes work together against the Wrecking Crew and stay on the same page long enough for the Punisher to appear and help tip the scales. This is during the unique time in the character’s history where Frank has an armory of random superhero/villain gear at his disposal, so he freaks Spider-Man and Deadpool out quite a bit by being armed with a Goblin Glider, Klaw’s sound gun hand, and Unicorn’s head thingy.

    THIS MAN, THIS [EXPLETIVE DELETED]

    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #611

    Joe Kelly and Eric Canate, 2010

    In an issue that should feel like a prelude to the current team-up series, Joe Kelly has Deadpool appear in Spider-Man’s comic to pester him as part of his mercenary job. After Deadpool assists with helping Spider-Man take down the criminally-underused Lady Stilt Man, he geeks out and asks him for an autograph. Spider-Man gives in, only to discover that the pen is a bomb.

    further reading: Complete Guide to Marvel Easter Eggs in Deadpool 2

    The two have a pretty great fight scene that leads to an even better “yo mama” joke-off in front of an audience of excited teens. It’s one of the few times when Spider-Man’s sense of humor remains intact when faced with Deadpool, as he’s too often shuffled into the role of straight man. Right as Deadpool is about to let loose with some kind of atomic mama joke that will turn any victim suicidal, he realizes that he has distracted Spider-Man for as long as his contract states and moves on.

    Though before leaving, he does warn Spider-Man about how he’s going to take him down in Deadpool #19...

    WHATEVER A SPIDER CAN

    DEADPOOL V.2 #19-21

    Daniel Way and Carlo Barberi, 2010

    “Spidey! What up, baby boy? I haven’t seen you since Amazing Spider-Man #611!”

    In the last leg of Daniel Way’s Deadpoolrun before it became unreadable, Deadpool visits New York City to find Spider-Man because he wants his help in becoming a real-deal superhero. Coincidentally, Way’s pet character Hit-Monkey starts pulling off hits on the corrupt and Spider-Man initially blames Deadpool. Once it becomes apparent what’s really going on, Spider-Man figures out the real reason Hit-Monkey’s in town is to eliminate Deadpool.

    further reading - Everything You Need to Know About Spider-Man: Far From Home

    Spider-Man becomes increasingly frustrated with having to work alongside Deadpool, especially when he could just let Hit-Monkey shoot him to oblivion, heal, and move on with his life. Deadpool refuses because that would fucking hurt like hell! Regardless, Deadpool still gets shot in the head and then tossed in Rikers until Spider-Man breaks him out and tells him to get the hell out of his city.

    SPIDER-MAN: SHATTERED DIMENSIONS

    Beenox and Activision, 2010

    The video game Shattered Dimensions tells the story of four different Spider-Men working together across the multiverse. You have the regular 616 Spider-Man (known as Amazing Spider-Man), Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man. To keep Ultimate Spider-Man’s play-style different from his mainstream counterpart, he’s given the Venom symbiote, albeit with full control over his facilities.

    further reading: Spider-Man 2000 is the Most Underrated Superhero Game

    Ultimate Deadpool appears in that section of the game, now running his own death sport reality show called Pain Factor. Other than his appearance and the mention that he’s somehow not dead from his original appearance, there’s not much connection between video game Ultimate Deadpool and the comic version. He’s honestly just the regular version of Deadpool only more antagonizing. Nolan North – the guy who voices Deadpool 90% of the time in anything where Deadpool talks – doesn’t really differentiate him in any way.

    Not that there’s much to be done with the original Ultimate Spider-Manversion of the character. His beef and existence were about the X-Men and mutant race with Spider-Man being a bystander. Writing him more in-character would probably have stuck out like a sore thumb.

    MARVEL UNIVERSE VS. THE PUNISHER #1-4

    Jonathan Maberry and Goran Parlov, 2010

    The Marvel Universe Versus trilogy is an underrated series of stories that improves on the concepts introduced by Marvel Zombies and its many sequels...though the third installment is kind of pointless and lame. In this initial story, we see a world where people have been randomly and gradually reduced to cannibalistic savages. Frank Castle, the man responsible for the apocalypse, is the only one completely immune and chooses to wage war on the former heroes.

    While most are primal shells of their former selves, Deadpool seems to be almost like his usual self outside of being even more raving than ever. Frank has killed him many times, but no matter what he tries, no matter how thorough, Wade always comes back.

    further reading: Everything You Need to Know About The Punisher Season 2

    Spider-Man is Patient Zero in this world, having been the first known mutation. As chaos has reigned supreme and the world has fallen apart, the infected have taken to forming tribes. Spider-Man is the alpha and Deadpool is one of his top flunkies. The fact that Deadpool can speak relatively normal makes him a perfect messenger, even if Frank tends to open fire on him on a regular basis.

    MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3: FATE OF TWO WORLDS

    Capcom, 2011

    The fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 feature both Spider-Man and Deadpool. While simply having them in the same game shouldn’t be enough to give it an entry on this list, it is worth noting the specific interactions they have. The fighters in the game (at least those who can talk) have a collection of audio quotes for pre-fight intros, audio quotes for post-fight wins, and a few lines of text after that. There are tons of instances where characters will say certain things based on their partners or opponents, such as Captain America bringing up Civil War to Iron Man or having Akuma tell Thor that it’s fun to kill a god.

    When Spider-Man defeats Deadpool, his victory text states: “Hey, Mister WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLL-SON! ...You suck.”

    When Deadpool is about to fight Spider-Man: “Gonna rough you up like a Broadway musical!”

    When Deadpool defeats Spider-Man, he audibly says: “Aw, that was too easy! Maybe it would have helped if you’d turned off the dark! Hahaha!”

    further reading: The Legacy of Marvel vs. Capcom

    And in his post-fight text, he references the similarities between Spider-Man and Albert Wesker’s super attacks with: “Hey, did you know that Wesker guy stole your Maximum Spider move? You were doing that back in Marvel Super Heroes! So... Gonna go kick his ass? Can I watch?”

    IDENTITY WARS

    SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #38, DEADPOOL ANNUAL #1, INCREDIBLE HULK ANNUAL #1

    John Layman, Lee Garbett, Juan Doe, and Al Barrionuevo, 2011

    This neat, under-the-radar crossover takes place over the course of three annuals and tells the tale of a group of bad guys who try to ransack a dimensional portal being worked on at Horizon Labs. Deadpool is brought in to help, but the criminals betray him. Meanwhile, Bruce Banner is working at the lab, so we end up having Hulk, Spider-Man, and Deadpool all sucked through the portal into an alternate reality.

    Our three heroes end up meeting their alternate selves and have to clean up their messes. Spider-Man comes across The Amazing Spider, whose life appears to not only be perfect by Peter Parker standards, but he’s also Superman level and is feared by all criminals. Too bad he gets that power because he and Uncle Ben steal Spider-Men away from other worlds and suck their powers out, killing them.

    further reading - Complete Guide to Marvel Easter Eggs in Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Then there’s Deadpool, who meets his non-healing counterpart, the green-and-black-wearing mercenary, Deathwish. Only it turns out Deathwish is Victor Von Doom. In this reality, Reed Richards experimented on Wade Wilson’s tumor and rather than just get a healing factor, it also enhanced his intelligence and turned him into the armored dictator Deathmask.

    As for Hulk, Bruce Banner became Sorcerer Supreme and was able to exorcise the Hulk into Hell. Mephisto eventually sends the beast back, more vicious than ever.

    The three do indeed not only thwart their corrupt doppelgangers, but leave the world in a better place than when they found it. Plus Deadpool takes all of Deathmask’s occult spell books and draws mustaches and giant wangs on all the demons.

    WHAT IF VENOM POSSESSED DEADPOOL?

    Rick Remender and Shawn Moll, 2011

    Originally, this story appeared fragmented through a handful of What If issues one year, but it was later released as a complete one-shot.

    It’s a strange beast that takes place across various decades. In the '80s, Deadpool is hired by Galactus to kill the Beyonder, but Deadpool foregoes it to become his BFF instead. The two enjoy champagne and women, but their flying limo is soon accosted by Spider-Man, angry about his living black costume and blaming the Beyonder for it.

    further reading: Every Marvel and Spider-Man Easter Egg in the Venom Movie

    The driver, musician “Bobby Oceanic,” blasts Spider-Man out of the car and to his death. The symbiote then jumps onto Deadpool, possesses his '80s jheri curl and then things get really weird.

    THE DEADPOOL KILLOGY

    DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #2, DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED #1

    Cullen Bunn, Dalibor Talajic, and Matteo Lolli, 2012

    The Deadpool Killogy is a trilogy of stories by Cullen Bunn based on an alternate reality Deadpool – one who looks like he’s wearing a red diaper – being driven nihilistic from becoming aware of being a fictional character. In Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, he wipes out all the heroes and villains. In Killustrated, he tries to destroy the original literary archetypes in order to destroy fiction at its source. Then in Deadpool Kills Deadpool, the mainstream Earth 616 Deadpool finds himself targeted and tries to save the multiverse from his evil self.

    further reading: Deadpool Comics Reading Order

    The second issue of the first series begins with Spider-Man clowning Deadpool pretty hard, all while admitting that he used to find him funny. Letting his guard down, Spider-Man allows himself to be shot in the head at point-blank range. Deadpool moves on to other victims, namely the Avengers.

    The opening pages of Killustratedshow that Deadpool has killed the heroes of various worlds, including countless Spider-Men. There’s some kind of cosmic failsafe that keeps him from being able to kill the same character the same way twice, so we see him setting one Spider-Man on fire, then later strangling another Spider-Man to death.

    AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #12-13

    Kevin Shinick and Aaron Kuder, 2012

    In this two-parter from Spider-Man’s short-lived, extra ongoing, Deadpool enters Peter’s mind to prevent him from being taken over by an outside threat. The first issue is a rather bizarre take on Inceptionwhere Deadpool casually shoots up the bullies at Peter’s high school while an underwear-clad Peter keeps yelling at him to stop.

    further reading: Deadpool vs. Deathstroke - An Inter-Promotional Rivalry

    As it turns out, Deadpool is playing Spider-Man as part of a plot with the Hypno Hustler. Deadpool has a deal where the Hustler will be able to hypnotize Deadpool’s heart into no longer beating, thereby giving him the sweet release of death. Deadpool then has a change of heart when he’s tasked with actively killing Spider-Man, though the webbed one isn’t exactly as forgiving as Wade would have hoped.

    Though at least the story gives us a quick look at Spider-Ham’s mercenary counterpart Deadpork!

    MARVEL THEN!

    DEADPOOL V.3 #7

    Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, and Scott Koblish, 2013

    Every now and then, the Duggan/Posehn run of Deadpoolwould go back in time to an earlier era of Marvel Comics. These “lost issues” began with a trip to 1980s Marvel, based around Tony Stark’s bout with alcoholism. The opening moments feature Peter Parker being ignored by his Bugle bosses and then being disgusted with Flash Thompson stealing a handicap spot.

    “Pfft. I’m only going to be a few minutes. Besides, why should the legless people get all the good spots?”

    Deadpool, wearing his ridiculous, yet accurate, '80s superhero threads, steals Flash’s car and drives off. At first, Peter is okay with letting him go, but then has the realization that by letting the thief go, Uncle Ben is somehow going to get shot a second time.

    I’ve mentioned that Duggan/Posehn is the best Deadpoolrun ever, right? Good!

    THE OTHER ULTIMATE DEADPOOL

    ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN SEASON 2, EPISODE 16

    Roy Burdine, Man of Action, and Ed Valentine, 2013

    Otherwise known as “They Canceled Spectacular Spider-Man for This Crap?!?” the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series is a more cartoony take on Spidey, basing it on his teenage years with constant Family Guycutaways and a status quo where he and his fellow young heroes are being trained by SHIELD. The episode “Ultimate Deadpool” features Deadpool, who is surprisingly okay to mention by name.

    No, really. Saying “dead” is a big no-no on these shows, usually. Hell, Deadpool’s shown up in some Marvel all-ages comics and they weren’t allowed to say his name.

    Deadpool is played off as basically being the dark Spider-Man. And not in the cool Venom way. More that Deadpool was in Spider-Man’s position as a superhero cadet, but lost interest and went off to become a mercenary. The two of them work together at first, trying to hunt down Taskmaster, but – surprise, surprise – Deadpool betrays Spider-Man in the name of the almighty dollar and they have a wacky and rather unfunny fight.

    further reading: The Strange History of Deadpool in Other Media

    The comic tie-in series Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriorshas an issue based on it, but it’s really the same exact story retold with the same art. Nothing worth talking about.

    THE INFERIOR DEADPOOL

    DEADPOOL V.3 #10

    Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, and Mike Hawthorne, 2013

    That aforementioned flashback issue laid the seeds for a story in the present where Deadpool would take on a high-ranking demon from Hell. In one of the issues, he goes after a crime lord who sold his soul to said demon in order to get some precognition powers. Deadpool stumbles into a team-up with Spider-Man, only it’s the infamous era of Superior Spider-Man. It’s not the hero Deadpool knows, but rather Doctor Octopus inhabiting Peter Parker’s body.

    Deadpool’s target, Daniel Gump, has hired a group of hired guns to stop the red-clad duo. Outside of Batroc and Taskmaster (who throws in the towel as his heart isn’t into it), it isn’t the most impressive roster. In fact, fittingly enough, Lady Stilt Man shows up for another Spider-Man/Deadpool fight!

    While Spider-Man is usually very annoyed by Deadpool’s antics, the Ock-minded version hates him even more. Especially when Deadpool starts ranting about how Spider-Man has the worst villains, such as that Elton John lookalike Doc Ock. Deadpool briefly steals a webshooter and succeeds in murdering Gump, but Spider-Man gets him back by punching him out and webbing him up for the police.

    SPIDEYPOOL

    DEADPOOL ANNUAL #2

    Christopher Hastings and Jacopo Camagni, 2014

    Oh man, this issue is so much fun. Fixed from the whole Doc Ock situation, Spider-Man’s been driven insane due to Chameleon constantly stalking and stabbing him. It’s enough that when Deadpool checks in on him, Spider-Man’s acting like a paranoid nutcase. The Chameleon strikes again and although Deadpool is able to ward him off, Spider-Man’s completely knocked out from a syringe to the neck.

    Deadpool figures he’ll beat the Chameleon at his own game via switching costumes with Spider-Man. What follows is an enjoyable romp where Deadpool goes around pretending to be Spider-Man, totally excited about using webbing and fighting dumb, animal-themed villains.

    By the time the Chameleon shows up to stab some more, Spider-Man-dressed-as-Deadpool arrives, well-rested, and helps out his fellow chatterbox. The two end up coming off as allies by the end of the story, though Spider-Man’s rather annoyed that Deadpool’s hour or so in the webbed tights somehow did wonders for his PR.

    THE MONK WITH A MOUTH

    AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #7

    Rick Remender and Adam Kubert, 2014

    Axiswas a big mess of a story. When a Carnage miniseries is somehow the highlight of your big comic event, you know you messed up. The meat of it had to do with a bunch of heroes and villains becoming morally “inverted,” an idea that works better with DC’s Crime Syndicate stuff than it does in the Marvel Universe where nearly everyone is shades of gray as is. In other words, the good guys are bad and the bad guys are good.

    Deadpool goes under a personality change where he’s still a good guy, but he’s more zen and less stabby. Spider-Man wasn’t in the area when the inversion spell happened, so he’s his usual friendly neighborhood self. As for others, the X-Men – led by Deadpool’s son figure (or whatever the opposite of “father figure” is called) Evan Sabahnur – are going to wipe out humankind because that’s now their thing.

    further reading: Who is Carnage?

    While the heroes and inverted-villains are distracting the X-Men outside, Spider-Man and Deadpool sneak into Evan/Apocalypse’s complex. Remender writes Inverted Deadpool differently from how he’s portrayed in his main book, making him just as wacky as his normal self. Despite not being a murder-happy psycho, Deadpool’s antics still find ways to bemuse Spider-Man.

    The two take on Inverted Evan themselves and get split up in the melee as Spider-Man teams up with Inverted Carnage and Deadpool gets literally torn to pieces by Evan.

    But you know Wade. It’s only a minor setback.

    THE ROAST OF DEADPOOL

    DEADPOOL V.3 #45

    Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, and Scott Koblish, 2015

    Fairly recently, there was that big fake-out “Death of Deadpool” issue that ended the previous Deadpoolvolume. In the main story, Deadpool died via the Secret Wars final incursion after making peace with the fact that he has loved ones who care for him and he can actually be happy. There’s a series of backup stories, including one where Deadpool steals the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos and uses it to hold his own roast in his honor with an audience of heroes and villains from beyond time and space.

    This includes Spider-Man as one of the main presenters, who proceeds to completely bomb. Later, Spider-Man joins in with everyone else, laughing uncontrollably at Deadpool’s ending monologue because he’s literally forcing them to with the Gauntlet. Deadpool then freezes time and explains his bitterness to the reader, blaming us as the source of his constant suffering. The reason he never explains the fourth wall to his fellow heroes is because he simply doesn’t want to ruin their lives.

    DEADPOOL’S SECRET SECRET WARS #1-4

    Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli, 2015

    Even though Deadpool was created in 1991, did you know that he was involved in the original Secret Wars? The one from the mid-80s? Yeah, he was there! We just don’t remember it because of cosmic magic and a disastrous fling with Janet Van Dyne.

    Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars is a retelling of the classic crossover event, only with Deadpool there helping the good guys. That leads to him getting up in Spider-Man’s business twice. One is the scene where Spider-Man is able to singlehandedly fight off the entire X-Men by himself because the '80s was a very different time. Deadpool gives chase and takes him on one-on-one, but he doesn’t do much better than the mutants.

    The other bit, which is way funnier, has Deadpool come across the machine that produces the black alien costume. Deadpool wears it for a moment and digs it, but then realizes that it’s a living being trying to become one with him and the experience is like torture for the symbiote. He puts it back and wonders if connecting with his mind damaged the creature in any way. As he’s leaving, he passes Spider-Man and gives him directions to the machine, telling him that “black is slimming.”

    AN IMPERFECT UNION

    UNCANNY AVENGERS #1

    Gerry Duggan and Ryan Stegman, 2015

    After the events of the other, more modern Secret Wars story, a couple new Avengers teams were created. One of those teams is Steve Rogers’ Unity Team, yet another attempt at putting humans, mutants, and now Inhumans on the same side. This has introduced conflict twice over. Not only are mutants and Inhumans not on the best of terms, causing lots of friction between Rogue and Synapse, but there’s also the big deal that Deadpool’s hanging around.

    Not only is Deadpool an Avenger, but his celebrity status and royalty earnings are currently funding the team. This doesn’t sit well with Rogue and Spider-Man. ESPECIALLY Spider-Man. As the first issue begins, they’ve been a team for months, but a fight against the Super-Adaptoid ends up being the last straw. Spider-Man can’t deal with Deadpool’s annoying and dangerous behavior, and quits the team.

    Well, the joke’s on him. He’s going to be stuck in a comic with Deadpool whether he likes it or not!

    BACK IN BLACK

    Deadpool: Back in Black #5

    Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin, 2016

    Hey, remember when I was talking about Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars a few entries ago? Well, this here's the sequel. As it turns out, prior to Eddie Brock, the rejected goop that used to be Spider-Man's black alien costume went back to using Deadpool as a host. The miniseries shows Deadpool going up against various 80s-themed heroes and villains. While the symbiote is mostly helpful, it does have its drawbacks, such as its rage and hunger.

    further reading: How do You Put the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

    A group of aliens hunt down the costume and end up hunting down Spider-Man. Although Deadpool saves the unconscious Spider-Man's life, the symbiote attempts to take over and kill the prone hero. Deadpool ends up putting his foot down and briefly prevents the creature from taking its violent revenge on Spider-Man. The two go their separate ways and Deadpool puts the wheels in motion that cause Eddie Brock to enter the church and become the host for Venom.

    SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST

    Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again #2

    Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic, 2017

    Once again, Bunn does a story about Deadpool killing all the heroes and villains singlehandedly. This time, the story is a lot better than, "Deadpool notices the fourth wall and becomes an extreme nihilist." Deadpool is mentally messed with by the villains of the world, led by Red Skull. Thinking he's having wacky adventures, Deadpool is actually killing his allies with only the occasional moment of lucidity breaking through. All he can do is hope that someone can stop him.

    further reading - Why You Should be Thankful for X-Men Origins: Wolverine

    As a callback to Back in Black, Deadpool hunts down Eddie Brock and kills him with lots of airhorns and heavy artillery. He proceeds to wear the symbiote as he hunts down and overpowers Spider-Man. In Deadpool's head, he and Spider-Man are in a Hostess Fruit Pies ad, being challenged in an eating contest by the Blob. The symbiote, on the other hand, knows the truth and devours Spider-Man's brains. Briefly remembering their old history and friendship, Deadpool spares the costume and tells it to leave him be.

    Deadpool spends the rest of the issue eliminating the other spider heroes such as Spider-Woman, Miles, and Spider-Man 2099.

    SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL

    Spider-Man/Deadpool #1-22

    Joe Kelly, Ed McGuiness, and various fill-in teams, 2016-2017

    As part of the fall-out of both being on the same Avengers team, Deadpool pesters Spider-Man and tries to win him over by showing that he really does need a mentor in being a better person. Over time, Spider-Man does see Wade for his positives, but he's still regularly annoyed with his antics and they have a brief falling out based on Deadpool temporarily murdering Spider-Man's "boss" Peter Parker for supposedly being an evil villain.

    Broken up by various one-shot fill-ins (including the two of them helping out on a Deadpool movie, meeting up in the 1970s, teaming up with Penn and Teller, and saving Christmas from the god Saturn), the main story has to do with a doomed mastermind named Patient Zero, who gets killed by his creation before he can explain who he is and why he blames Deadpool and Peter Parker for his problems. His creation is Itsy Bitsy, a half-woman/half-spider with the powers and abilities of Spider-Man and Deadpool.

    further reading: Complete Schedule of Upcoming Marvel Movies

    Longtime readers of Deadpool shouldn't have too hard a time figuring out who Patient Zero truly is. Especially when you focus on the Joe Kelly aspect. But who he's looking for? Well, you'll have to think a lot bigger.

    The main story ends in the eighteenth issue, followed by more fill-in issues.

    SPIDER-MAN VS. DEADPOOL

    Spider-Man vs. Deadpool #23-34

    Robbie Thompson, Chris Bachalo, Scott Hepburn, Elmo Bondoc, Matt Horak, 2017-2018

    In Deadpool's main book, things have been falling to pieces thanks in part to him murdering Agent Phil Coulson. Long story. While the main series has the general fallout to that, his Spider-Man team-up series gets rebranded as Spider-Man vs. Deadpool to play up how Spider-Man really wants to bring his quasi-friend to justice. Regardless, the two end up on the same side again and again in a storyline revolving around an army of LMD androids while the Chameleon acts like a jerk.

    further reading: The Best Marvel What If? Moments

    The book constantly bounces back and forth to show us years into the future, where our heroes have become elderly and put on their costumes one last time to fight an evil Deadpool doppelganger. Lots of crazy stuff, including the Fantastic Four of the future (Venom Vision?!).

    It really is fascinating to see the history between Spider-Man and Deadpool. It used to be a rare novelty that they’d usually shy away from. Then it became a semi-regular thing. Now we’re at the point where they’ve interacted enough and Deadpool’s become important enough in the grand scheme of things that they might as well make money off of it. Who knows where this bromance will go next?

    Gavin Jasper is still waiting for Lady Stilt Man to show up in the new series. Follow him on Twitter!


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    The Outsider, the most recent novel by Stephen King, is already getting a TV series adaptation.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Dec 3, 2018

    Stephen King’s latest novel, The Outsider, just hit book shelves and devices on May 22. However, in case you haven’t noticed, the entertainment industry is in the midst of a Kingaissance of sorts, with adaptation-minded studios stumbling over each other to voraciously scoop up anything the man has written, be it a novel, short story, or cocktail napkin on which he wrote directions to a rest stop (that last one’s a joke, but oddly feasible). Consequently, The Outsider is already heading for adaptation pastures, with plans for television series blooming.

    HBO has announced a pickup for The Outsider TV series, which will manifest as a 10-episode limited event on the premium cable channel. Onboard as executive producers are Richard Price (HBO’s The Night Of, The Deuce), Jack Bender (Mr. Mercedes, Lost) and Jason Bateman via his Aggregate Films, also joined by Temple Hill Entertainment and MRC.

    The Outsider Cast

    Ben Mendelsohn has been tapped to star in The Outsider upon HBO’s greenlight. The starring role will presumably see Mendelsohn tackle a small-town murder investigation that takes a supernatural swerve.

    The veteran Aussie actor, Mendelsohn, has achieved acclaim on the big and small screens in recent years, notably with his unforgettable co-starring role as Danny Rayburn on Netflix serial drama Bloodline, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2016, with nominations banked in 2015 and 2017. The role opened doors for prominent parts in movies such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Darkest Hour, Ready Player One and Robin Hood, with – amongst other things – a major role in upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe offering in the Brie Larson-starring Captain Marvel, which hits theaters in March 2019.

    He might be joined onscreen by executive producer Jason Bateman. The New York-born actor, a late-1980s teen idol who experienced a post-2000s career resurgence after starring in comedy series Arrested Development, has also made a transition to behind the camera as the star/director/executive-producer of the hit Netflix crime drama, Ozark. Thus, with Bateman set to direct two episodes of The Outsider, there is a hinted possibility that he could also field a guest-starring role.

    The Outsider Details

    The story of The Outsider puts a mind-blowingly monstrous twist on traditional accused-of-murder fiction (in which King previously delved with his 1982 novella, Rita Hayworth andShawshank Redemption). Here, police detective Ralph Anderson fields an investigation in the fictional Oklahoma town of Flint City that upends the local populace when a well-liked local man, Terry Maitland, is arrested for the shockingly malicious murder of an 11-year-old boy. While a mountain of evidence – including DNA and fingerprints – make the case seem open-and-shut, Maitland vehemently swears his innocence; an idea that gains momentum when his alibi – of being out of town at a conference – checks out, leading the investigation to a potentially supernatural turn.

    Interestingly, there’s some King Universe crossover potential with this project, at least, as far as the story is concerned. In The Outsider novel, investigator Ralph Anderson is partnered on the Maitland case with Holly Gibney, a character from King’s 2014 novel, Mr. Mercedes, which, of course, has already been adapted as a television series for Audience Network, on which the character was played by Justine Lupe (Madame Secretary, Sneaky Pete). However, that series is the construct of different production companies, which might complicate a prospective crossover.

    The Outsider, which now heads for HBO, is but one of many King projects with live-action plans. Amongst the myriad King adaptations in the works are small screen reboots of The Stand (with CBS) and The Dark Tower (with Amazon) are also in the works. Back on the movie front, the Pet Sematary remake will once again prove that “dead is betta” when it arrives on April 19, 2019, and It: Chapter 2 is quickly casting the adult version of the Losers’ Club, heading towards its September 6, 2019 release. – And there's A LOT more to come.

    We’ll keep you updated on HBO's The Outsider TV series as things develop!

    Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.


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    Hulu is developing TV shows based on John Grisham’s The Rainmaker and Rogue Lawyer, designed to showcase a shared universe.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Dec 4, 2018

    Shared universes are apparently no longer restricted to Marvel and DC blockbusters, at least that’s the notion that streaming service Hulu is embracing with its ambitious plans for TV series adaptation of multiple John Grisham novels. That’s right, folks, a live-action franchise called The John Grisham Universe is now officially a thing.

    Hulu has announced that John Grisham novels in 1995’s The Rainmaker and 2015’s Rogue Lawyer will get the small screen serial treatment, wielding unconventional plans to not only have the two shows connected continuity-wise, but adhere to a format that accommodates watching the episodes out of order, or, as the service’s statement puts it, either “vertically” or “horizontally.” The two series will be planned in a writer’s room simultaneously, with an initial benchmark of producing eight scripts for each show.

    The shows will enter development from ABC Signature and Seitzman and Christina Davis’s ABC Studios-based Maniac Productions. For this initial duo of Grishamverse legal dramas, Hulu has tapped the creative coalition of writers Michael Seitzman (Quantico, Code Black), Jason Richman (Mercy Street, Detroit 1-8-7) and author Grisham himself, who, having given his blessing, will have his say in the adaptation process as executive producer, joined in that capacity by the Seitzman/Richman duo and Davis.

    Of course, several of Grisham’s novels have been adapted for the big screen, some more successful than others, most notably, the 1993 Tom Cruise-starring legal drama, The Firm, along with The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Chamber, A Painted House and Skipping Christmas (not counting Netflix’s new Grisham docuseries, The Innocent Man). However, film buffs will remember The Rainmaker from director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1997 movie adaptation (pictured in the title image) in which Matt Damon starred as a recent law school grad who – joined by a shady partner played by Danny DeVito – attempts to do benevolent legal work to help a leukemia patient whose insurance company unscrupulously denied treatment.

    The Rogue Lawyer, which will get its first live-action adaptation, centers on the exploits of a street-based solicitor who practices in the seedy side of the city out of the back of a black bulletproof van, joined only by a heavily-armed driver. However, Hulu’s aforementioned non-linear TV plans will see the stories of the two Grisham adaptations directly intertwined, sharing a murder mystery that will be connected to a larger conspiracy (its own proverbial Infinity Gauntlet-seeking Thanos, if you will), making the manner in which these shows are binged subjective one’s own tastes. Yet, the structure of Hulu’s John Grisham Universe will be built organically and expand at a careful rate.

    It will be interesting to see if the seemingly incompatible concepts of “John Grisham” and “Universe” will translate into something that’s palatable in the peak television era.

    Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.


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    Who is The Flash Season 5 villain? We dig in to the DC Comics history of the Cicada, played by Chris Klein.

    The Flash Season 5 Villain, Cicada played by Chris Klein
    Feature Mike Cecchini
    Dec 4, 2018

    This article contains The Flash spoilers.

    His arrival has been teased since the first bit of footage for The Flash Season 5 arrived, but the Cicada (played by Chris Klein) has remained a mystery. Even The Flash season 5 premiere, the excellent "Nora," waited until quite literally the last minute of the episode to introduce him. And when they did, it was to dispatch that episode's disposable villain, Gridlock, who won't be missed.

    And while the character is definitely a villain from the comics, The Flash season 5 has opted to handle Cicada as an almost completely different character. But like Savitar and The Thinker, he continues the show's tradition of elevating otherwise obscure villains to the prestige role of season big bad. It makes some sense. After all, once you've done Thawne and Zoom, and since Captain Cold had a brilliant arc of his own to handle (across multiple shows, no less!), most Flash villains (as great as they are) aren't quite up to the challenge of sustaining an entire season of their own. A character like Cicada is practically a blank slate, as we saw from his longer introduction in "Blocked" and the completely new origin concocted for him in "Oh Come All Ye Thankful."

    For starters, he even looks pretty different from the character from the comics. See for yourself...

    A fondness for overcoats and jagged daggers aside, you'd be hard pressed to even identify these as the same character if you saw them next to each other. Anyway, for characters like this, looks are the least important thing. Just consider how much cooler Savitar looked than his comic book counterpart!

    Cicada first appeared in The Flash #170 (2001) by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins (it's collected in The Flash by Geoff Johns: Book One). That story kicked of "Blood Will Run" and it was actually a Wally West tale. This was early in Johns' tenure as writer on The Flash, long before he brought Barry Allen back to life. It was also an early appearance of Officer Fred Chyre, who you may remember was played by Al Sapienza in the first episode of this series...where he was also killed off. Damn shame, as Chyre was a fun character. Anyway...

    A rash of killings was taking place in Keystone City, and the common thread among the victims was that they had all been rescued by Flash at some point. The victims were being killed by a cult, accumulating their life-force via special lightning bolt shaped knives (we saw this at the end of "Nora" as well). Cicada (real name: David Hersch) was over 100 years old, having been struck by lightning shortly after the death of his wife (hint: she didn't die of natural causes). That lightning bolt gave him the ability to absorb life force and become essentially immortal.

    further reading: The Flash - Who is Jay Garrick?

    Thanks to the lightning bolt connection, Cicada's cult believed that Flash had been saving people specifically to help them accomplish their goal, which was not only to extend Cicada's life, but also to bring his wife back from the dead. If we get a creepy, half-preserved wife mummy this season that Chris Klein is weeping over, I'm going to be pretty darn pleased. Anyway, as you can probably guess, Wally didn't take kindly to the cult's thinking (particularly when it was time to have his own life force drained), and Cicada was put away, and has more or less languished in obscurity ever since. 

    What was interesting about this story was how it was so specifically tailored to Wally at the time. This wasn't just a villain for Wally to stop, it was a villain that made Wally confront some of his own indiscretions. Specifically, Wally had spent a chunk of his early career as Flash as something of a womanizer, and one of the Cicada's victims was an ex-lover of his. Oh, and an ex-girlfriend he did wrong (remember Magenta from season three?) was a Cicada cultist, as well.

    As we've seen on the show, though, TV Cicada doesn't seem interested in people Flash has saved. Instead, he has it in for metas in general. He's taking it out on metas because of the events of the season four finale, which left his adopted daughter in a coma, essentially subbing her in for the mummified wife. Will he ever assemble a collection of cultists? My guess is probably not, since that angle was already played with back in the Alchemy and Savitar days, but I'll update this article with more info about the TV version of Cicada and how he lines up with (or doesn't) with his DC Comics history as I can.

    Keep up with all our news and reviews about The Flash season 5 right here!

    Mike Cecchini is the Editor in Chief of Den of Geek. You can read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @wayoutstuff.

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!


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    The Dark Knight has a run-in with an alternate universe in the latest issue of Tom King's Batman.

    Batman #61
    NewsJohn Saavedra
    Dec 5, 2018

    This Batman article contains spoilers.

    The Caped Crusader has gone rogue, left to pick up the pieces of a shattered engagement to Catwoman and solve a mystery that's already amassed quite the body count. What's Batman's solution to his current problems? Punching everyone in the face, of course. 

    At the center of the mystery is Bane, the architect of the Dark Knight's latest crisis, who has taken over Arkham Asylum and recruited a band of bad guys to help him break the Bat once and for all. With this group of baddies, the villain has managed to send Bruce's life into turmoil. A back apparently heals much faster than a broken heart. 

    Batman #60, the latest issue from writer Tom King and artist Mikel Janin, teases that things are only going to get worse for the World's Greatest Detective in the next few months. Since Selena stood him up on their wedding night, Bruce has retreated back into his war on crime, first beating Mr. Freeze to a pulp and then basically leaving KGBeast for dead (similar to the end of "Ten Nights of the Beast") after the assassin shot Nightwing in the head

    When the Penguin confesses to Batman that he was hired by Bane to kill Alfred, the Caped Crusader decides to pay Bane a little visit at Arkham Asylum, kicking the crap out of the villain, who pretends to be ill and weak in order to keep Batman off the scent. Commissioner Gordon witnesses Batman's increasingly violent methods in his quest to unmask Bane as a mastermind and decides that he's had enough, smashing the Bat-Signal with a bat, hinting that the Dark Knight's status with the GCPD and Gotham City as a whole is about to change. 

    But that's not even the biggest difficulty coming up for Batman. The final panel of Batman #60 reveals that someone from Bruce's past has returned to haunt him: Thomas Wayne, his father. Of course, this Thomas Wayne isn't actually our Bruce's father but a version of Batman created by Flashpoint (it's a whole thing, Google it).

    Standing over his son while Bruce tends to an injured Alfred in the Batcave (presumably, Thomas Wayne knocked him out in order to get to the Penguin, who was being kept in a cage inside the cave), it's unclear if Thomas means to hurt his son or something else entirely. The cliffhanger seems to promise some kind of revelation or clash between these two Batmen. 

    The last time these two met, it was during the Batman/Flash "The Button" crossover, which saw Batman and The Flash travel to the Flashpoint universe while tracking down Reverse-Flash and the mysterious Watchmen button first introduced in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns. During their meeting, Thomas urged his son to find happiness and give up the mantle of the Bat before it was too late. Interestingly enough, it seemed that Thomas had died when the Flashpoint universe was erased from existence at the end of "The Button," presumably at the hands of Dr. Manhattan (a whole other thing, Google it). All of this, of course, pushed Bruce to propose to Selena just a few weeks later. 

    It was then revealed in the final panel of Batman #50, the now-infamous wedding issue, that Thomas Wayne had actually survived and was in cahoots with Bane, part of the group of villains trying to take out the Bat, which also includes the Joker, Riddler, Ventriloquist, Psycho-Pirate, Hugo Strange, and, most surprisingly, Gotham Girl. We'll assume that Flashpoint Batman's reemergence in Bruce's life is the next step in Bane's plan. 

    King teased on Twitter that the upcoming issue #61, which will see the return of the maniacal Matthew Warner from #38, will be the start of a new set of stories called "Knightmares." 

    "Epic arc scraping at the soul of Batman. (With a Flash break at 64, 65)," King said of the next nine issues. This doesn't sound good for Bruce at all.

    Issue #62 will mark the return of both Professor Pyg and Mister Miracle artist Mitch Gerads to the book, while #63 will be a team-up between Batman and John Constantine, with pencils from Mikel Janin. Issues #64-65 will be part of a new Batman/Flash crossover being written by regular Flashwriter Joshua Williamson. 

    Plenty coming up for the heartbroken Bat, then. We'll keep you updated as we learn more. 

    John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9


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    The Gifted gets that in good X-Men stories, the bad guy usually has a point.

    This The Gifted episode review contains spoilers.

    The Gifted Season 2 Episode 9

    Last season, we talked a lot about the boxes every good X-Men story checked: soapy melodrama and interesting applications of powers. This season, they're aiming for the tropes that most good X-Men stories have, but those are such tightropes to walk that they've in turn sunk other promising ones. Matt Nix admitted as much to us when we talked to him back before SDCC: complicated family dynamics and everyone, good or bad, having at least a shred of a point.

    This is incredibly difficult. Even in the best X-Men stories they usually don't bother giving the humans a relatable perspective. But this season of The Gifted,and this particular episode, have really nailed it on every front.

    This is not to say that the line between good and bad hasn't been blurred on both sides. It has - John's behavior over the last few weeks has become increasingly erratic as the pressure (and creeping despair at failing in his mission) have mounted on him. That has him bad cop-ing the hell out of everyone this week. He manipulates Marcos back into the game, then Blink into kidnapping an executive from Regimen to help find out what the Inner Circle is after. And then he threatens and terrifies the man into helping them figure out their plan, to the point where Blink walks off because he's being such a jackass.

    John's moral collapse aside, though, this week was a Hellfire Club week, and they crushed it. Reva is ice cold about the Inner Circle's torture of Rebecca, setting it up so that Andy is inadvertently (maybe? I'm not sold that Reva didn't see it coming) forced to choose between protecting his girl or protecting the Inner Circle, and he chooses his coworkers, accidentally killing Rebecca as she's getting ready to destroy Reva, the Cuckoos and Polaris.

    If I have to find a complaint with the episode, it's probably that their attempts to humanize Rebecca failed at humanizing her, but succeeded in showing how complicated her story is. The cold open was a flashback to when she got dimed out to Sentinel Services by her parents. It's a rough, sad betrayal of a daughter by her parents, but she's also a creepy-ass weirdo who likes to turn people inside out, so it's hard not to see the narc position here. I think it undermines her attack on the Inner Circle, though - by failing to humanize her in this scene, her attack on Reva et al just feels like wanton revenge rather than a lashing out by a supremely broken person.

    Reva's ultimate plan is to get into Regimen because they're the ones who manufacture the power dampening collars. Once inside, they'll shut all the collars down, rapidly expanding the size of the mutant revolution. And what do you know: it works, and all hell breaks loose to close the episode. Even with the chaos that comes from their victory, it's hard not to see where they're coming from after hearing about the torture inflicted by the collars. The regime running the US in The Giftedseems pretty shitty.

    Related: Explaining The X-Men Movie Timeline

    Even the C-plot this week was good. Clan Strucker is still with Dr. Reisman, working to destroy her lab full of data on a mutant cure. Reisman is the rare sympathetic X-Men human villain, here, doing everything she can to be nice and positive to Lauren and Reed while also planning on what amounts to genocide. She's sympathetic because she's convinced she's trying to help, though, and that's a tough, smart, interesting perspective on what's traditionally been either boring as hell or played super over the top. Her research is eventually destroyed by Nathan going Over 9000 in her lab, and his pivot from dutiful lab assistant to renegade terrorist blowing up a medical lab wasn't really given the space to breathe to make it convincing. Again, these are minor quibbles.

    The most effective part of the story (and the season so far, for that matter) has been the ongoing radicalization of Jace Turner. I'd be interested to know how much research went into his story for this season, because it feels a little like a true crime documentary when he's around. He's completely convinced of his righteousness, embittered because of... well... a ton of stuff, and gradually being talked deeper into extremism within the Purifiers, until we get him hunting mutants on the streets of DC, pinning Thunderbird to a dumpster and then capturing him. In a world where right wing violence is on the rise and sheriff's deputies are getting fired for wearing QAnon patches on their official gear, getting a glimpse into a person's soul as they're descending into extremism is interesting and genuinely terrifying.

    The Giftedbroke at midseason with one of its finest episodes yet. Let's hope they keep getting stronger.

    LOOSE GENETIC MATERIAL

    -Not a ton this week, mostly because I couldn't recognize the mutants who escaped prison in the end sequence: I think we have seen the albino before, but I couldn't pin down the Biotic God who rips a shockwave through the fencing, or Col. Roy Mustang with the lighter.

    -Clarice teleporting the guy into the trunk, then bringing John and Marcos through off-screen is the most X-Men thing I've seen this season, and it's extra sweet because you know they did it because of budgetary constraints. Well done, gang.

    4.5/5
    ReviewJim Dandy
    Dec 5, 2018

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    Avengers: Infinity War makes Thanos look unbeatable. We look for the one chance Doctor Strange saw to defeat him in Avengers: Endgame.

    Avengers: Infinity War - Thanos
    Feature Gavin Jasper
    Dec 7, 2018

    Thanos the Mad Titan is kind of a big deal these days. A decade of Marvel Studios movies led to one starring him that painted him as being the king badass of bad guys. The opening five minutes of Avengers: Infinity War alone make him look like the toughest, most imposing threat to any and all superheroes. Not only is he a dangerous brick house of a purple man, but his adventures usually lead to him buffing up his power with Cosmic Cubes and Infinity Stones.

    How do you solve a problem like Thanos in the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame?

    Scouring his comic history, I’ve compiled a list of all the times Thanos has been taken down a peg. Maybe one of these is that "one in fourteen million chance" that Doctor Strange mentioned in the movie.

    You can either watch the video for the short version, or keep reading the full article for more details!

    OK, now let's get on with the rest of this...

    THANOS WAR (1974)

    Thanos started off as a Dr. Claw-type of threat who was treated like a big deal, but never got his hands dirty. Like how in his first appearance, in an issue of Iron Man, Thanos’ “defeat” came in the form of a robot duplicate. He didn’t truly take a big L until possessing the Cosmic Cube and facing Captain Mar-Vell.

    Watch Avengers: Infinity War on Amazon

    Using his newfound omnipotence, Thanos rid Earth of its population and discarded the Cosmic Cube by becoming a big, scary Neon Noodle face in the sky. Captain Marvel wasn’t much of a match for Thanos, especially in this form, but he realized that even if discarded, the Cosmic Cue was still the source of Thanos’ abilities. While Thanos tried to disorient Mar-Vell’s surroundings and even speed up his aging, the Captain was able to use his last ounce of strength to karate chop the Cosmic Cube, thereby seemingly killing Thanos and setting everything back to normal.

    DEATH WATCH (1977)

    Adam Warlock teamed up with the Avengers to go stop Thanos from blowing up the solar system. They all failed horribly and Warlock was killed; his soul winding up inside the Soul Stone with Gamora and Pip the Troll. Moondragon reached out and showed all this to the mind of a sleeping Peter Parker, who in turn went to Thing and said, “Yo, I had the weirdest dream. Want to help me save the world just in case?”

    further reading - Avengers: Endgame Trailer Breakdown and Analysis

    While Thanos got huge villain points for refusing to monologue in front of the heroes at the cost of giving the heroes an advantage (in 1977, no less! Wow!), Spider-Man and Thing freed the heroes anyway. The Avengers and Thing jobbed out to Thanos something fierce, but Spider-Man was able to shatter open a special globe with the Soul Stone in there, releasing Adam Warlock in fiery ghost form. Warlock grabbed onto Thanos and transformed him into a statue, albeit one with the retained ability to cry.

    SPIDEY SUPER STORIES (1979)

    As mentioned in the list of weirdest Thanos moments, Thanos appeared in the all-ages 70s pile of ridiculousness that is Spidey Super Stories. This dorky take on Thanos chased the Cat (Hellcat) with a helicopter and later stole the Cosmic Cube from a teenage skateboarder named Speedy. Having the Cosmic Cube in hand, he seemed unstoppable to the Cat and Spider-Man.

    That is, until he created an earthquake, which not only affected his enemies, but also caused the Cosmic Cube to fall out of his hand. Spider-Man told him, “You were too tricky for your own good, Thanos!”

    Speedy picked up the Cosmic Cube, wrapped Thanos up in grass, and then the police led Thanos away in handcuffs. It’s one of those images that will never not be funny.

    INFINITY GAUNTLET (1991)

    The big event that inspired Avengers: Infinity War had Thanos trip himself up in his moment of ultimate victory. Thanos had the full Infinity Gauntlet, which allowed him to mold the universe at his will, all to impress Death. After defeating the surviving superheroes and overpowering the cosmic entities, he went one-on-one with Eternity himself.

    Thanos won, escaping his physical body to instead become an unbeatable force living in the fabric of the cosmos. Thanos’ folly was that his lifeless body still held onto the Infinity Gauntlet and like a car with the keys in the ignition, that godly power was there for the taking. Nebula zipped over to snatch it, gaining omnipotence, while Thanos was demoted.

    further reading: Every Version of Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet Story

    Thanos then joined the heroes against Nebula and afterwards faked his death by getting hit so hard by Thor that he exploded. Sweet plan!

    WHAT IF THE SILVER SURFER SUCCEEDED? (1993/1998)

    The most memorable part of Infinity Gauntletwas the sequence where Thanos powered himself down just enough so that the remaining superheroes had the slightest chance to beat him. They all died horribly, but that was part of the plan. It was all a distraction for Silver Surfer to zip by and grab the Gauntlet off of Thanos’ hand.

    He missed, of course.

    Two What If comics showed what would have happened had he removed the Gauntlet. One story had the Silver Surfer wield the Infinity Gauntlet with good intentions to make the universe a better place, only to gradually go insane from its power. Dr. Strange brought in Shalla Bal to talk some sense into him, which caused the Surfer to destroy the Gauntlet itself (seemingly at the cost of his own life, but instead, he and Shalla snuck off to a paradise planet).

    further reading: The 100 Best Marvel What If Moments

    Thanos pondered over his defeat and smiled at how close he got to victory.

    In the other story, Surfer pulled the Gauntlet off Thanos, but fumbled it due to Thanos blasting at him. Surfer lost his hold on it and it was snatched out of the air by the comedic Impossible Man. The issue was more about Silver Surfer as the main character and while Thanos was depowered, he practically forgotten about within a couple pages.

    URBAN JUNGLE (1998)

    Back in the late-90s, Mark Waid and Andy Kubert did a Ka-Zarongoing that lasted roughly a year. Much like Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ka-Zar took on his evil brother who turned out to be working for Thanos. Thanos had some plot based on terraforming the entire universe so that all the plant life would kill everyone else, including Hillbilly Stephen King.

    Somebody out there will get that reference.

    In this story, Thanos absolutely towered over Ka-Zar and was able to shrug off all of his attacks. They fought it out in the middle of a volcano and while Thanos had Ka-Zar in a bearhug, the power of love gave Ka-Zar some crazy Spider-Man-under-a-pile-of-wreckage strength and he both escaped the hold and knocked Thanos into the lava below.

    further reading: Complete Schedule of Upcoming Marvel Movies

    That wasn’t the end of Thanos, as he rose from the lava, but the aftermath was a bunch of confusing jargon involving a magic medallion.

    CALL OF THE WILD (1998)

    After his loss to Ka-Zar, Thanos was locked up in some kind of energy dimension, unable to escape without help. In the form of a giant, he tried to convince the Hulk to pull him out of that dimension in exchange for power, only for Nate Grey to interfere. Alone, Hulk and X-Man were no match for the colossal Thanos.

    Together, X-Man was able to transfer his telekinetic armor onto Hulk’s body. Bouncing around, looking like The World from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Hulk proceeded to overpower Thanos and sent him back into the portal from whence he came. Thanos’ connection to reality was cut completely and the heroes went their separate ways.

    Seriously, though. He looks exactly like The World.

    THE FINAL MORNING (2000)

    Thanos teamed up with Mangog to best Thor, power up with a bunch of cosmic artifacts (as Thanos is wont to do) and bring forth the end of all life in the universe. Thor was able to take out Mangog in a way most badass, but he was still no match for the amped-up Thanos. Luckily, Odin had Jagrfelm the Blacksmith make some extra special weapons powered by the Odinforce to buff up Thor to Thanos’ level. Odin summoned Firelord to make the delivery in time.

    Enhanced and ready for a piece of the Mad Titan, Thor fought Thanos to a standstill at first until destroying one of the empowering artifacts and turning back Thanos to normal. From there, it was only elementary that Thor would thrash Thanos into a purple mess. Thor’s ally Tarene then used her magic tears to explode Thanos into a smoldering corpse.

    Thanos creator Jim Starlin would later retcon this loss, as well as the Ka-Zar incident, as being against mere clones. I have to imagine that’s more because of Thanos getting outright killed or his plot to wipe out the universe, since Infinity Gauntlet made it apparent that Thor (even Eric Masterson Thor) could possibly tear Thanos apart if he didn’t have the Infinity Stones.

    SQUIRREL GIRL (2006)

    Squirrel Girl joined the Great Lakes Avengers with the dynamic being that they’re lame heroes and she’s lame on the surface despite being able to take down major threats. GLX-Mas Special (during the time when they were the Great Lakes X-Men) had Thanos come to Earth moments after Squirrel Girl just took down MODOK. Thanos talked up some plot about ruling the universe with something called the Pyramatrix.

    Squirrel Girl ran into action as a way to end her part of the story. Later in the issue, it was shown that she defeated Thanos all on her own with Uatu the Watcher verifying that it was indeed him. HOW she won was never explained.

    A later comic would claim that it wasn’t actually him because we can’t have nice things.

    ANNIHILATION (2006)

    The first Annihilationwas essentially the story that planted the seeds for modern-day Guardians of the Galaxy being a thing. In it, Thanos was more of a henchman to main villain Annihilus, much like how the Grim Reaper is somehow the henchman to Dracula in the Castlevaniagames. Part of their reign of terror had to do with Galactus being captured and weaponized against his will. Eventually, Thanos realized that Annihilus’ plans were a bit too far for him and decided that he’d help the heroes by releasing Galactus.

    Before he could do that, he noticed Death hanging out in the room. As he realized what was up (his time, to be more specific), Thanos suddenly saw his own heart torn out of his chest from behind. Drax the Destroyer was created to kill Thanos and damn it, that was exactly what he was going to do.

    MARVEL ADVENTURES (2006)

    In the family-friendly world of Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #16, Thanos clobbered Captain Mar-Vell so hard in the middle of a space battle that the Kree hero was knocked into Earth. There, he teamed up with the Fantastic Four to fight Thanos. Part of the issue centered around an invention of Reed’s called “utility fog,” which was a cloud of shape-shifting nanites.

    At first, the heroes used the utility fog to create duplicates of themselves and fight Thanos 10-on-1. This didn’t work out, but Sue was able to funnel the fog into Thanos’ mouth, allowing the nanites to shut down Thanos from the inside.

    MARVEL ZOMBIES 2 (2007)

    The original Marvel Zombiesminiseries ended with a handful of heroes-turned-zombies devouring Galactus and absorbing his cosmic abilities. They moved on to scouring the cosmos to devour both planets and the inhabitants. As of Marvel Zombies 2, not only did their ranks increase to include various high-ranking space characters like Phoenix, Gladiator, and Thanos, but they also seemingly finished off all the food in the universe.

    Zombie Thanos ranted about Zombie Hulk eating too much food and putting them in this situation, but the argument ended pretty succinctly with Hulk clapping over Thanos’ head and causing an explosion of gore. Gladiator tried eating some of Thanos’ exploded brains and skull fragments, but then immediately vomited them back up.

    THE NEWER FANTASTIC FOUR (2009)

    A What If issue showed a world where Wolverine, Spider-Man, Hulk, and Ghost Rider remained the New Fantastic Four due to the demise of the original team. A sequel showed how things would have gone had they existed during Infinity Gauntlet. Due to Ghost Rider being erased in the Finger Snap Heard ‘Round the Universe, Iron Man took his spot.

    The team didn’t agree to Adam Warlock’s “everyone die so we can maybe steal the Gauntlet” plan, but their attempts at fighting Thanos head-on didn’t work out either. It was Wolverine’s attention that saved the universe, as he took note the way Mephisto was able to lead Thanos around, as well as Thanos’ feelings for Death. Wolverine smooth-talked Thanos into smiting Mephisto and making Wolverine his new advisor.

    Wolverine, having a better understanding of women than Thanos, talked up how important touch is to a relationship and insisted that Thanos march over to Death and touch her face. By the time Thanos built up the resolve and reached over, Wolverine chopped his arm off and called him a sucker.

    Hulk beat down Thanos, Spider-Man set things right with the Gauntlet, and the day was saved.

    AVENGERS AND THE INFINITY GAUNTLET (2010)

    A more all-ages take on Infinity Gauntlet had the team of Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, Dr. Doom, and space trucker US Ace take on Thanos. It was a silly endeavor, but very much worth reading.

    When the heroes (and Doom) fought Thanos, they got their asses handed to them as expected. Out of nowhere, US Ace drove his space truck into Thanos. It didn’t kill him, but it did knock off his Gauntlet. Dr. Doom stole it, but it didn’t do him any good due to the realization that he was just a Doombot.

    Thanos tried to put the Gauntlet back on, only for Spider-Man to steal it with a web yoink and put it on. Spider-Man wished that Thanos never found the Infinity Gems and the story reset itself where only Spider-Man and Thanos remembered the incident.

    REBIRTH RAMPAGE (2010)

    The Universal Church of Truth seemed like they were resurrecting Adam Warlock or his evil self Magus, but instead they brought Thanos back from the dead. Not only was that something that would piss Thanos off on principle, but his mental faculties weren't back to normal just yet. The Guardians of the Galaxy had to fight what was essentially a purple Hulk with his junk flapping around.

    The Guardians had a hard time fighting the revived Thanos, as he even seemed more powerful than ever. Groot’s brute force failed, Gamora’s god-killing sword broke on Thanos’ skin, and Drax didn’t do much better. The Guardians hit him with everything they had and it only pissed him off.

    Finally, Star-Lord pulled out a cracked Cosmic Cube and used it to lure Thanos over. Then he let loose with a blast – straight into the crotch – that proceeded to knock out Thanos.

    DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE (2012)

    In one universe, Deadpool became aware that he’s a fictional character and instead of making him all wacky, it broke him and turned him into a brutal nihilist. The four issues were mainly just him killing various characters in occasionally inventive ways. At the beginning of the final issue, we got to see him take out tons of heroes and villains in one fell swoop in what appeared to many as a mass suicide.

    Turned out Deadpool was using the Puppet Master’s puppets to control people and make them kill themselves. To show he was thinking big, he pulled out a Galactus doll and we got to see Galactus and other cosmic types floating dead in space. This included the upper half of Thanos.

    AVENGERS AND GUARDIANS ASSEMBLE (2012)

    The first arc of Avengers Assemblehad two major roles in relation to Marvel synergy. First, it came out around the time of the first Avengersmovie and capitalized on both the Avengers’ popularity and the post-credits Thanos appearance. Second, it introduced the Guardians of the Galaxy as we know them, tweaking the character traits a little bit and mostly ignoring how their previous series ended because they had a movie coming out in two years and this was Marvel’s way of planting the seeds in the readers’ minds.

    Thanos came to Earth to steal what he thought was a Cosmic Cube, leading to a team-up between the Avengers and the Guardians. Thanos succeeded and became this unstoppable giant, banishing the heroes to another dimension. Turned out it wasn’t so much a real Cosmic Cube as a replica created by the US government. With the help of the Elders of the Universe, the heroes returned with a weapon that would destroy the fake cube. Thanos returned to his normal form.

    Hulk threw a growing Groot at Thanos, who delivered a couple haymakers until being swatted away. Then Thanos looked in horror as the Guardians of the Galaxy and several Avengers rosters (including two Hulks) rushed him down and started curbstomping him into oblivion. Thanos acted like he still had some fight left, but then the Elders popped in to steal him away.

    INFINITY (2013)

    Usually, Thanos’ deal is that he’s trying to get his girl, but around the time of Infinity, Thanos’ deal was that he got the girl too many times. As some kind of galactic Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Thanos sired children all over the universe and one day decided that, oh wait, making babies is counterproductive to stanning for Death. Remembering the time he knocked up an Inhuman during a trip to Earth, he returned to make sure his offspring was wiped out.

    The whole event led to a cloud of Terrigen Crystals spreading across the world and one of the people empowered by it was Thanos’ son. Calling himself Thane, the youngster came across Thanos fighting off the Avengers and let loose with his power to encase people in amber. Locked in a cube of amber in a pose similar to that time he was turned into a statue, Thanos was stuck in a horrifying stasis where he was conscious but completely immobile.

    UNI-DEADPOOL (2015)

    Deadpool and Thanos worked together to free Death from the clutches of Eternity. After all, with no Death, there was no...death. Death allowed the two to tap into her power in order to bring Eternity to his knees, but Thanos started to go too far and intended to kill Eternity once and for all. Death removed her powers from Deadpool and Deadpool realized that Death wanted this. The entire universe was going to die.

    Not enough to fight Death-powered Thanos on his own, Deadpool ended up getting a big buff in the form of the Captain Universe Uni-Power. That allowed him to fight Thanos head-on, but that wasn’t what got him the win. Deadpool pointed out that Thanos’ resilience and refusal to die or even stay dead makes him more of an agent of life than death. Death pondered this on the side and chose to remove Thanos’ newfound abilities.

    Screaming that he was weak and alone once again, Thanos vanished in an explosion caused from Deadpool’s blasts.

    WHAT IF? INFINITY: INHUMANS (2015)

    In this reality, Thanos gave Black Bolt the ultimatum where if Black Bolt didn’t kill the Illuminati and the Avengers, then Thanos would wipe out the entire Inhuman race. Fast-forward to an Earth ruled by Thanos and his henchmen.

    A hooded figure was treated as the ultimate weapon against Thanos that needed to be protected against all threats. In the climax, she revealed herself to be Dazzler. Between her ability to turn sound into light blasts and the excessive power of Black Bolt’s voice, Thanos was easily annihilated.

    WHAT IF? INFINITY: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2015)

    After Infinity, Thanos was locked up in a cube of amber in the custody of the Illuminati. In this alternate timeline, Rocket Raccoon stumbled upon this fact from spying on Iron Man. He and the Guardians proceeded to fight the Illuminati and free Thanos for the sole purpose of killing him.

    The actual death isn’t shown or 100% explained. All it needed was a two-page spread of the Guardians being accompanied by various cosmic allies like Beta Ray Bill, Ronan, Gladiator, Annihilus, and so on. Star-Lord told him that they’re the Guardians of the Galaxy and the galaxy is sick of Thanos’ shit.

    Afterwards, they all got very drunk in celebration while Earth's heroes were told that they were grounded and could no longer venture into space.

    WHAT IF? INFINITY: DARK REIGN (2015)

    Nobody’s perfect, but certain villains are better at using the Infinity Gauntlet than others. Wielding such power comes with such responsibility, so of course who would botch controlling the Infinity Gauntlet worse than a Spider-Man villain?

    In a world where Norman Osborn got his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet, he reached back several decades to bring his father into the present and showed him his many accomplishments. While his father was abusive and cruel, he was still able to call out Norman for being a monster. Norman then figured he’d just make his father love him with his omnipotence and it worked!

    Then they returned to his stronghold to find all of the Dark Avengers killed by Thanos. The two battled it out and while Thanos couldn’t scratch the Green Goblin, he was at least able to get under his skin by pointing out that he never forced Death to love him because he’d know that it wasn’t real. Norman would soon realize the same about his father’s glowing words.

    Norman rendered Thanos into a pile of smoking bones via blasting a Goblin Glider into his sternum. He confronted his mind-controlled father by asking why he loved him. Not finding, “Because you’re my son,” satisfactory, Norman wiped out his father’s existence from history itself.

    Realizing his mistake almost immediately, Norman faded away as well. What a maroon.

    SECRET WARS (2015)

    As the culmination of Jonathan Hickman’s epic Fantastic Four and Avengersruns, Secret Wars was the story of Dr. Doom gaining omnipotence and creating a world made up of scraps of broken alternate universes. It was kind of trippy but very awesome.

    When the heroes waged war against God Doom, Thanos challenged him head-on. Without the Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos talked a big game like he had any chance at all and Doom simply tore out his spine like he pressed forward, down, forward, high punch.

    At least with the Norman Osborn fight Thanos set him up to lose in his death.

    SECRET WARS: THE INFINITY GAUNTLET (2015)

    One of the reasons why Secret Wars was such a rad event was the many spinoff stories about the various alternate universes-turned-kingdoms. One of which centered around a family of Nova Corps members in a society overrun by space bugs. Stalking and later befriending the family was Thanos, who carried with him the Time Stone. The Nova family happened to have the Reality Stone.

    By the end of the story, Thanos had an almost full Gauntlet while the Novas only had that one Reality Stone. The father put up a good fight, but was still no match for Thanos’ might. The daughter, Anwen, offered to give him the Reality Stone in exchange for their lives. Agreeing to the terms, Thanos placed it in his completed Gauntlet and gloated over his absolute power.

    Suddenly, the Gauntlet shorted out while being overcome with purple flame and Kirby Krackle. It overwhelmed Thanos and turned him into a charred skeleton, all while Anwen revealed that she used the Reality Stone to create a poisonous replica called the Death Stone.

    CIVIL WAR II (2016)

    So Civil War II was a really bad miniseries by Marvel that acted as well-meaning character assassination for Carol Danvers Captain Marvel. Regardless, the first issue had a taste of rad Thanos action. The Inhuman known as Ulysses had a premonition that Thanos was going to be snooping around Earth. Against Iron Man’s wishes, Captain Marvel put together a team to ambush Thanos. Interestingly enough, the miniseries didn’t even show how the fight went down for the most part. All it showed was Thanos’ surprise, his critically injuring She-Hulk, and his fist going through War Machine.

    An issue of Ultimatesat least showed that afterwards, the Ultimates roster joined together to pour it on Thanos until he went down.

    ULTIMATES REMATCH (2016)

    Thanos was locked up in the Triskelion, but as you’d expect, he got free. The Ultimates tried fighting him and this time he was able to overpower them. Black Panther realized that the secret to stopping Thanos wasn’t brawn, but brains. While Ms. America and Captain Marvel kept Thanos busy, the others put together a device that prevented electrical synapses in his brain. Thanos collapsed and went silent.

    Black Panther pointed out that such a device would kill anyone else, but it’s possible that Thanos simply can’t die.

    THE GROUNDED GUARDIANS (2017)

    Thanos escaped custody once again and left the planet, which was extra frustrating for Gamora as the Guardians of the Galaxy lost their transportation during Civil War IIand were stuck on Earth for a while. Luckily, or unluckily, Thanos decided to head back to Earth as part of an agreement with Annihilus, the Brood, and the Badoon. This was Brian Michael Bendis’ final issue writing Guardians of the Galaxy and he wanted to go out with a bang.

    It started with Drax vs. Thanos, but over time, the whole Guardians roster started to trickle in to lay in on Thanos. Star-Lord, Groot, Venom, Kitty Pryde, Thing, Angela, Rocket, and Captain Marvel. The Avengers were apparently on the way. Then Gamora arrived, ignoring Thanos’ claims that this world could have been hers had she not betrayed him. Gamora smugly agreed that this way was better and the Guardians rushed Thanos.

    While the end of the fight wasn’t shown, the final pages did give us an imprisoned Thanos in the hands of the Nova Corps, looking all Hannibal Lector.

    THE SHI’AR IMPERIAL GUARD (2017)

    In Thanos’ recent ongoing series, he started to realize that his body was breaking down and he’d regularly cough up blood. He went to Mentor to find a cure, but Mentor’s failure led to death as punishment. Thanos was then met by the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, who tried to overwhelm him with their vast numbers. Thanos had his moments of dominance, but it was apparent that he wasn’t as strong as he usually was and they were getting the best of him.

    Exhausted and weakening, Thanos saw the Imperial Guard’s heaviest hitter Gladiator standing behind him. With one hell of a punch, Gladiator knocked Thanos into next week. Thanos was under arrest.

    PHOENIX THANE (2017)

    Not only was Thanos weakened, but a handful of his enemies joined together to end him once and for all. With Death whispering in his ear, Thane put together a team of himself, Nebula, Starfox, and the Champion of the Universe. In reality, Thane was planning on betraying them anyway, as his plan was to steal a Phoenix egg and grant himself the power of the Phoenix Force.

    When the time came for him to confront Thanos, there was very little to the fight itself. Just one blast of cosmic flame that depowered Thanos even further and teleported him to a slum planet, cursed to live out the rest of his pathetic life.

    In the end, Thane’s former allies helped Thanos regain his abilities and stop Thane. Apparently, it was part of Death’s plan all along, but Thanos was all, “I don’t want your love anymore!” Those feelings lasted like a week.

    THANOS VS. THANOS (2018)

    “And if Thanos must die?”

    “No one kills Thanos but Thanos.”

    At the end of his ongoing, Thanos was brought to the distant future to meet up with his older and very victorious self, King Thanos. Over countless years, Thanos wiped out seemingly all life in the universe. The only things left were his henchman Frank Castle (a failed Ghost Rider/Herald whose mentality has made him more Deadpool than Punisher over the years), the Hulk (treated as Thanos’ dog), and the threat of a vengeful Silver Surfer armed with Mjolnir. King Thanos brought his younger self over to help him kill the Surfer, hoping that it would bring forth the missing Death.

    When only the two Thanos’ remained, Death showed herself and made it apparent that she wanted them to fight to the death. Their battle was brutal, but the younger Thanos was supreme. Still, he would not be goaded into killing his older self, purely out of disgust. Instead, he went back to the present with the promise that he would make sure that King Thanos’ future would never come to pass, killing him with non-existence.

    I guess they took the whole “Thanos undoes his own victories” thing literally.

    Any other Thanos losses you want to remind me of? Sound off in the comments!

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

    Gavin Jasper notices that Carol Danvers sure happens to partake in a lot of Thanos smackdownery. Huh. Follow Gavin on Twitter!


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    The crew of Serenity is back with this official tie-in novels. Enter to win a copy of the first book in the new series...

    News Kayti Burt
    Dec 7, 2018

    Most nerds can agree that space western Firefly was taken from us too soon. Now, the story is continuing with the first original, officially-licensed novel set in this rich storytelling universe, and we're giving away a copy!

    The book is called Firefly: Big Damn Hero, and it follows all of the main characters we know, love, and miss—even Badger—from the world of Firefly and Serenity.

    Here's the official synopsis:

    A perilous cargo
    It should have been a routine job, transporting five crates from the planet of Persephone to a waiting buyer. And Lord knows, Captain Mal Reynolds needs the money if he’s to keep Serenity flying. But the client is Badger, and nothing that involves him is ever straightforward. The crates are full of explosives, which might blow at the slightest movement.

    A missing captain
    Just before take-off, Mal disappears. As the cargo grows more volatile by the minute, and Alliance cruisers start taking an interest in the tenacious smuggling ship, it’s down to Serenity’s first mate, Zoë, to choose between rescuing her captain and saving her crew.

    A vengeful army
    Meanwhile, rumours are spreading on Persephone of a band of veteran Browncoat malcontents who will stop at nothing to be revenged on those responsible for their terrible defeat. Is Mal harboring a dark secret from the war? And can the crew of Serenity find him before it’s too late?

    Firefly: Big Damn Hero was written by James Lovegrove from a story of Nancy Holder.

    Entry for the giveaway is simple:

    - Join the Den of Geek Book Club over on Goodreads.

    - Comment in one of the discussion threads, and be sure to mention you're there for the Firefly: Big Damn Hero giveaway!

    Unfortunately, only readers who reside in the United States qualify for this contest. Final entries will be accepted Friday, December 21st! One (1) winner will be drawn at random and contacted via Goodreads message. Good luck!

    Kayti Burt is a staff editor covering books, TV, movies, and fan culture at Den of Geek. Read more of her work here or follow her on Twitter @kaytiburt.


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    Comic book and television writer Brian K. Vaughan will work with Legendary Entertainment to adapt several of his works.

    News Alec Bojalad
    Dec 7, 2018

    FX's Y: The Last Man won't be the last TV adaptation of a Brian K. Vaughan comic that we see, not by a long shot. 

    Brian K. Vaughan has signed on with Legendary Entertainment to produce TV shows and films based on his considerable comic library, according to Deadline. As part of the deal, Legendary and Vaughan will work together to adapt several of his creator-owned comics for television and film in both "traditional" and "non-traditional" platforms. That's right, your boy is ready to stream. Vaughan will also have the opportunity to develop new, original concepts for film and television. 

    “Through truly inspired storytelling, Brian has created immersive, compelling worlds that are devoured by fans worldwide,” Nick Pepper, President of Legendary Television Studios said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with Brian to bring his visions and extraordinary library of work to the screen.”

    The partnership could be a good fit for Vaughan as Legendary recently got into the TV producing game with Netflix's Lost in Space. The opportunity to expand across several mediums must be appealing. Vaughan is no stranger to TV writing himself, having written on Lost for three seasons and on Daredevil for one. 

    “Legendary was instrumental in helping to revolutionize the way the world thought of ‘comic-book movies,’ so it’s a tremendous honor to work with them on adaptations of some of my and my talented collaborators’ past and current comics, and I’m looking forward to hopefully creating a few wholly original stories with them, as well," Vaughan said.

    In addition to FX's upcoming Y: The Last Man, an adaptation of Vaughan's Runaways just debuted its second season at Hulu. Those are some of Vaughan's higher profile projects but he still has an extensive canon of other comic book projects for Legendary to explore in this deal. Ex Machina follows superhero Mitchell Hundred after he is elected Mayor of New York. Paper Girls is a wistful nostalgic fantasy about four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls in a Cleveland suburb dealing with a threat from the future. 

    Then there's the unadapted Vaughan comic series that's the elephant in the room of this deal...

    Saga.

    SAGA.

    SAGA!

    SAGAAAAAA!!!

    Science fiction Romeo and Juliet-esque epic Saga is Vaughan's magnum opus...and one that he's staunchly and repeatedly promised will never be adapted. Maybe he'll change his mind now that he has more creative control over any potential project. Probably not. But maybe!

    Alec Bojalad is TV Editor at Den of Geek and TCA member. Read more of his stuff here. Follow him at his creatively-named Twitter handle @alecbojalad


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    Everything you need to know about Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, including latest news, release date, trailer, and much more!

    The Umbrella Academy Trailer, Release Date, Cast, News
    News John Saavedra
    Dec 9, 2018

    Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's The Umbrella Academy is coming to Netflix as a live action series. The comic book series, which debuted in 2007, was first optioned as a movie before Dark Horse signed a deal with Universal Cable Productions to adapt the comic as a TV series. 

    The live action series follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes -- The Monocle, Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five, The Horror, and the seemingly powerless Vanya -- as they work together to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities. 

    Way began writing The Umbrella Academy just a year after the release of My Chemical Romance's magnum opus, The Black Parade. The series is 15 issues of Eisner Award-winning goodness that has continued to inform Way's career as a comic book writer, especially with his current run on Doom Patrol and his Young Animal line at DC. Artist Gabriel Ba has also done some of his best work on the series. (If you want something really great by Ba, check out Daytripper, which he created with his twin brother, artist Fabio Moon.)

    The Umbrella Academy has been on a bit of a hiatus since 2009. Only two volumes, The Apocalypse Suite and Dallas, have been released thus far, although Way and Ba plan at least two more volumes. The third volume is called Hotel Oblivion, and it's been in the works since at least 2013 when Way tweeted out an update with some sketches of new characters. Way and Ba had agreed to begin work on Hotel Oblivion in 2014, but a lot's happened since then. Besides his music projects, Way has his own line of comics and two comic book series to write.

    While it's not likely the Umbrella Academy will return on the page any time soon, fans will at least gave the show to look forward to. – Here's everything else we know:

    The Umbrella Academy Trailer

    The first trailer is here!

    The Umbrella Academy Release Date

    Netflix has officially announced that all 10 one-hour episodes of The Umbrella Academy will premiere will premiere on February 15, 2019. Best Valentine ever.

    The Umbrella Academy Cast

    Netflix has revealed the core cast of the show. Here are the actors who will portray the members of the Umbrella Academy:

    Ellen Page (X-Men: Days of Future Past) will star as Vanya, who is estranged from the rest of the family because of her lack of powers. Vanya is a very important character in the first arc of the comics, as she goes through a bit of self-discovery that puts her at odds with the superheroes she once called a family.

    Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones) plays Luther, aka Spaceboy. He has super-strength, and after a terrible accident during an expedition to Mars, his head had to be transplanted onto the body of a gorilla. Ehem...

    Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton) will play Allison, aka The Rumor, who can alter reality by lying. 

    David Castaneda (El Chicano) is Diego, codenamed The Kraken. He is sort of a fuse between Aquaman and Batman. He can hold his breath indefinitely, which gives him an advantage when in water, and is an expert knife thrower.

    Robert Sheehan (Misfits) is perfectly cast as Klaus aka The Seance, the most morbid character of the group. His powers, which manifest only when he's barefoot, include levitation, telekinesis, and the ability to contant the dead. In the comics, Klaus is killed at one point but rejected from both Heaven and Hell.

    Aidan Gallagher (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn) is Number Five, simply codenamed The Boy. He can effortlessly travel in time and does not age due to a temporal condition. 

    Colm Feore (House of Cards) will play Sir Reginald Hargreeves, the leader of the Umbrella Academy. He is the billionaire who adopted all of the strange children that made up the superhero team. Hargreeves was known to be manipulative and cold towards the kids, something that has scarred the heroes later in life.

    Adam Godley (Breaking Bad) will play Pogo, a genetically-engineered and talking chimpanzee. Pogo is a point of comfort for the Umbrella Academy, acting in much more of a fatherly and nurturing role than Hargreeves ever did. 

    Ashley Madekwe (Revenge) plays Detective Patch, who is at odds with the vigilantes that protect her city. She prefers to play things by the book.

    Mary J. Blige has joined the cast as well. She will play the role of Cha-Cha, the insane time-traveling assassin first introduced in the second arc of the comic, "Dallas," which reimagines the Kennedy assassination. Cha-Cha, along with her partner Hazel, believes in using the most violent method possible to dispatch her prey. 

    Hazel will be played by Cameron Britton (Mindhunter). According to the official character description, Hazel will become at odds with Cha-Cha at some point after their time-traveling blood-soaked adventures begin to wear on him. 

    John Magaro (The Big Short) will be a series regular, playing Leonard Peabody, described as “a sweet Average Joe,” who, while dismissed as being somewhat of a milquetoast, strikes up an unlikely romance with Vanya (Ellen Page) that plays out against the backdrop of the larger events of the series.

    Kate Walsh will play a recurring character called The Handler, officially described as “a composed and confident leader of a mysterious, bureaucratic company who is always ready to manage any situation — though it's best not to get on her bad side. Her charm is her greatest strength and she uses it to her advantage to complete the business of her organization.”

    John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9


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    Our DC Historians are here to help you understand the driver behind this year's big DC TV crossover.

    The Monitor from Elseworlds, the 2018 DC TV Arrowverse Crossover
    Feature Jim Dandy
    Dec 9, 2018

    What a time to be alive. We have supercomputers that we carry in our pockets, almost have self-driving cars, and now the Monitor showed up on a TV show with Batwoman, Flash, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Superman. Elseworlds is shaping up to be a doozy of an Arrowverse crossover, and we couldn't be happier.

    But who is the Monitor? That’s what we’re here to help you with. It's not easy, as there have been several characters who had the name, and all of their stories are so heavily tired up in the tiny details of the DC Universe that it's a little tough to swallow. Think of this as a brief intro to the Monitor if you found him interesting on Elseworlds, with some reading recommendations to follow down below.

    Elseworlds DC Comics The Monitor Crisis on Infinite Earths

    WHO IS THE MONITOR?

    Which one?

    Wait, we should probably start at the beginning.

    The dawn of time was a giant hand closing and opening on the universe. It was observed by Krona, a Malthusian scientist. His observation caused a paradox which broke the universe into different parallel worlds. Two beings were created with the multiverse: the Monitor, who was the physical embodiment and overseer of the positive matter worlds, and the Anti-Monitor, his opposite number for antimatter universes. The two of them warred for millions of years, then landed a double KO and stayed passed out for billions of years.

    further reading: Every DC Comics Easter Egg in the Elseworlds Arrowverse Crossover

    When another scientist tried to duplicate Krona’s experiment, he woke the two and reset the war, which was eventually won by the forces of good, but at enormous cost - the entire multiverse was merged into one; Barry Allen was killed; and both the Monitor and Anti-Monitor died in the battle. This was chronicled in the incredible Crisis on Infinite Earths, which the Arrowverse has been hinting at since the very first episode of The Flash.

    FINAL CRISIS, MULTIVERSITY, and THE RETURN OF THE MONITOR

    Then, 30 years later, the multiverse was reborn, and the Monitor came back. Actually, 52 of them came back. One for each universe created in the rebirth of the multiverse, with an absurdly complicated backstory. To summarize: the Overmonitor sent a probe into the white space that existed before the birth of a multiverse. The probe encountered “story,” which it considered a corruption. It chained up the “Story” in what became the Orrery of Worlds, and left chunks of itself behind to continue...monitoring. 

    See? We told you things were going to get weird.

    One of those chunks was corrupted, and almost all of them were kind of shitty to the universes they monitored, so they were eventually wiped out by Nix Uotan, SUPERJUDGE, who was left behind as the only one monitoring the multiverse. We get into some of this in this look at Grant Morrison's assorted Superman stories.

    MONITORS THROUGHOUT DC HISTORY

    The Monitor - The original. He was mostly defined by his conflict with…

    The Anti-Monitor - The antimatter universe’s equivalent. Neither of these guys had a ton of personality beyond their conflict. He's the main villain of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

    Bob - There’s a dispute between monitors about what to do with multiversal anomalies just after the rebirth of the multiverse. Some argued to eliminate them, while one - Bob - works with the anomalies to save them.

    Mandrakk the Dark Monitor - Originally Dax Novu, the first and brightest monitor who became corrupted and began bleeding the various worlds of the multiverse dry. He was eventually defeated by all the Supermen in Grant Morrison's Final Crisis.

    Zillo Valla - The monitor of Earth 43, she travels the multiverse gathering heroes to take on Mandrakk.

    Nix Uotan - SUPERJUDGE! The Judge of All Evil! He’s the one who marshalls all the resources of the DC Universe to finally defeat Mandrakk, protect the multiverse and banish all his colleagues. He started out as the monitor of Earth 51, but that was killed in the Great Disaster, and he was banished for incompetence.

    Weeja Dell - Monitor of Earth 6, Nix’s partner, and his strongest defender within the council of Monitors.

    Mar Novu - This is the Monitor in the Elseworlds DC TV crossover this year. We know little about him so far, but that should be filled in soon.

    KEY STORIES

    Crisis on Infinite Earths - The original mega-crossover and the book where the multiverse was eliminated. This has the battle between the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor and the assembled heroes of the DCU.

    Infinite Crisis - this series contained the return of a limited multiverse and gave us our monitors back! It’s also the one where Superboy Prime punching the walls of reality caused all the continuity errors. It’s better than it sounds.

    Final Crisis - Perhaps the most Monitor-heavy of all of these stories.

    The Multiversity - Actually, I take that back...THIS is the most Monitor-centric of all these stories.

    For more on the multiverse, the Monitors or the joy that is the annual DC TV crossover, stick with Den of Geek!


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    Clint Barton is shown donning a darker look in Avengers: Endgame trailer. Here's a look at what it's all about and what it represents.

    Hawkeye as Ronin in Avengers: Endgame
    Feature Gavin Jasper
    Dec 10, 2018

    We finally get a little taste of the next Avengers tale with that Avengers: End Game trailer. It doesn’t tell us too much and the glimpses we get only ask more questions. It also gives us a quick look at what’s up with the two biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes to skip out on Infinity War in Ant-Man and Hawkeye. Both were described as being under house arrest in the last movie, but now we see Hawkeye’s back in action...albeit not in the most mentally healthy way.

    In his scant seconds in the trailer, Clint Barton is shown cleaning off a used sword while standing over a handful of goons who are probably dead. Instead of his SHIELD uniform, he’s dressed in an armored ninja costume. He’s no longer Hawkeye, but Ronin.

    But who is Ronin, exactly?

    Originally, Ronin had little to do with Clint Barton unless you considered him a red herring. Brian Michael Bendis was writing Avengersin the mid-2000s and gave us Avengers: Disassembled, a chaotic storyline that killed off a handful of Avengers members. Hawkeye was one of those victims, getting blown up in a fight against a Kree invasion that was ultimately conjured up by an insane Scarlet Witch.

    Shortly after this story, Bendis started up a new Avengers series...New Avengers. Rather than go for a more classic line-up, he got a bit unorthodox. Captain America and Iron Man returned as representatives of the old guard. Spider-Man and Wolverine were brought in due to Bendis’ belief that if the Avengers are Marvel’s Justice League, then they should have the most popular characters. Spider-Woman and Luke Cage acted as Marvel mainstays who needed a day in the sun. Then you had the two wildcards in the Sentry – an X-factor of a hero who had only appeared in a miniseries at that point – and Ronin.

    Ronin appeared on many New Avengers covers despite not showing up until the eleventh issue. In the speculation, many felt that Ronin was supposed to be Daredevil in a new disguise for some reason. After all, Bendis was also in the middle of his legendary Daredevilrun at the time. Bendis later admitted that that was the original plan, but it wouldn’t have worked out.

    Instead, when they finally got around to telling Ronin’s story, they made hints that this mysterious ninja was not just a woman, but Elektra. She was an associate with Daredevil, Captain America said he didn’t approve of her history with the Kingpin, and we got to see what looked like her hair from behind. Also, her mission involved taking on the Hand, which is totally an Elektra thing to do.

    But there was a bit of a hint of Ronin’s true identity. An army of ninjas was able to sneak up behind her. Sure, they’re supposed to be stealthy, but there were so many of them that you’d have to be deaf not to notice. Sure enough, by the time the Ronin storyline finished up, she unmasked to reveal she was Echo, otherwise known as Maya Lopez. A former flame of Matt Murdock’s and adopted daughter of Wilson Fisk, Echo was introduced in the Daredevil comic right before Bendis took over (David Mack and Joe Quesada were the creative team at the time, and they created Echo). Much like Daredevil, she had enhanced abilities despite a physical handicap, only it was deafness instead of blindness.

    That quick Ronin story was about all there was for Echo’s relevancy, though. It was the hazard of Bendis’ writing. He would write interesting scenarios for the New Avengers, but he’d stretch it out so long that he was too busy catching up with the big Marvel events going on to really explore his ideas. That plot thread would rest for a while as Marvel books dedicated themselves to House of Mand Civil War, two other major storylines.

    further reading - Avengers: Infinity War Easter Eggs Guide

    During yet another big Marvel event, House of M, Scarlet Witch rewrote reality so that mutants were in charge. She also magically brought Hawkeye back to life with no memory of the original timeline or his death. He eventually regained those memories and it put him on a dark path that would last for several years, including a couple attempts to straight-up murder Scarlet Witch in the name of revenge. When the world returned to normal (albeit with most mutants depowered), Hawkeye remained alive, but went on his own path.

    While they’re a bit more open to it these days, having two superheroes share the same name at the same time in Marvel is something they usually go out of their way to avoid. One of the two has to die, be taken out of commission, or simply change their name. Since Marvel had just introduced a new Hawkeye in Young Avengers (Kate Bishop) and Clint was no longer dead, that meant a new identity.

    Clint gave up on his revenge plot, but was less than thrilled to hear that Captain America died in the aftermath of Civil War. Even for a guy who was brought back from the dead, Clint was about to have a string of bad times. Stark offered him the shield as the new Captain America, but Clint refused. It wasn’t for him and he wasn’t exactly pleased with Stark in general.

    Meanwhile, Echo’s adventures against the Hand got her captured, killed, and resurrected by their new leader Elektra. The anti-Stark Avengers team went on a mission to rescue her and with them was a new Ronin. We didn’t get many hints on the identity this time other than it not being Matt Murdock.

    A flashback showed the truth: Clint visited New Avengers member Doctor Strange and came across the rest of the rebel team, all confused that he was alive. He offered to join them in their Echo rescue mission, but didn’t want to be Hawkeye anymore. Wolverine instead gave him the Ronin costume.

    further reading: Complete Schedule of Upcoming Marvel Movies

    It worked out, though. Yet another flashback revealed that in their early Avengers days, Captain America taught Hawkeye how to fight with more than a bow and arrow. Kicking ass with katanas and martial arts was Clint’s own way of honoring his fallen leader. After Echo was safe, she let Clint keep the identity, seeing as she didn’t need it and she felt that he did, at least for a little while.

    Then the bad times really started to kick in.

    Secret Invasion was going on and that meant there were heroes all over who were secretly shape-shifting Skrulls meant to take over the planet. This included some that weren’t aware of the truth, such as one posing as Hawkeye's dead wife Mockingbird. She knew some incredibly intimate facts about their relationship, but she was just another fake. Clint, in an act of rage, gunned down the confused alien and ranted about how he was going to go genocidal on the invaders.

    He does manage to kill a few Skrulls, and in context, that's kinda good. The end of the invasion means that Norman Osborn is now in charge of everything military and superhero-related in the government and that’s bad. The real Mockingbird turns out to be alive after all and that’s good. She does point out that she divorced him before she was abducted by Skrulls and that’s bad.

    Ronin would lead the New Avengers, who were more of a rebel team than ever before because Osborn had his own team of Dark Avengers wearing their identities and every good guy was on their shit list. Osborn being in charge – not to mention mass murderer Bullseye dressing up as the new Hawkeye – drove Clint to wanting to straight-up assassinate the weird-haired dickhead. He went on a one-man mission to just that and failed because Osborn had crazy plot armor back then.

    Clint didn’t die either because, come on, they weren’t going to kill a guy so fresh from stepping out of the grave.

    further reading: Marvel Cinematic Universe Viewing Order

    Luckily, good things started happening for our man Clint. Steve Rogers came back from the dead and led the team again, including putting an end to Norman Osborn’s reign of terror. The Superhero Registration Act finally died. Clint and Mockingbird started having fun adventures together. He started dating Spider-Woman. Being an Avenger no longer had a scummy stigma to it. Scarlet Witch even chilled out a bit. Things were back to normal enough that Clint could be himself. He was alive and he could live his life.

    And so, there would be two Hawkeyes coexisting. The grim, katana-wielding ninja would find his stride as a dopey archer with a sidekick and a one-eyed, pizza-loving dog.

    As for “Ronin,” the gimmick got used plenty more in the main Marvel universe and beyond. The Red Guardian and even Blade wore the mask. In the Ultimate Universe, it was just another identity for Moon Knight. Even on the Japanese cartoon Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, Ronin ended up being a secret identity for Nozomu Akatsuki, benevolent scientist and father of the protagonists, who was mind-controlled by Loki.

    While Ronin is a fun way for Marvel to add mystery to their stories, it truly found the most meaning in its Clint Barton days. He didn’t truly need to wear the black costume. It simply represented that he was going through a very bad time. Experiencing death, having your heart broken, losing a close friend, being vilified for being a good person, and seeing the world go to Hell could break a person.

    So could having your beloved family turn to dust because of the acts of a Mad Titan.

    Gavin Jasper writes for Den of Geek and remembers that Hawkeye was a major player in saving both universes in the JLA/Avengers crossover. Even against Thanos, he shouldn’t be underestimated. Read more of Gavin’s stuff here and follow him on Twitter @Gavin4L


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    The fun Snagglepuss backup story spins off into Sasquatch Detective #1.

    Sasquatch Detective #1
    NewsJim Dandy
    Dec 10, 2018

    There's something inherently charming about the high concept behind Sasquatch Detective, Brandee Stilwell and Gus Vasquez's story about exactly what it sounds like that first appeared as a backup in Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles. We're not talking about time travel paradoxes or closeted panther playwrights examining the birth of the gay rights movement in America or a rich orphan who likes to beat on poor people for "justice." She's a sasquach. And she's also a detective. It's admirably straightforward.

    And if you read the stories, you'll see that the charm doesn't end with the hook. Tanya Lightfoot is enthusiastic and competent and earnest and fun and endearing in a way that you don't often see in comics these days, and she feels like she's just sophisticated enough to not be an all ages character that we're swearing "really works for everybody."

    In Sasquatch Detective#1, DC collects all the backups from Snagglepuss and adds in a new origin story for Tanya from Stilwell and Vasquez, but my favorite part is probably the note from Stilwell about the titular cryptozoological investigator's origin as a concept that fleshes out her existence in a way that somehow made it even more likeable. And then we meet an entirely wholesome family of sasquatches (sasquatchi? Sasqui? Sasquatch? Can you help in the comments with the appropriate plural for "more than one sasquatch?") in this exclusive preview DC sent us to share with you.

    Tanya's parents, also Bigfoots (Bigfeet? No, I'm pretty sure it's Bigfoots), are sort of the respected town elders for Northern California wildlife. Her mom is a tennis pro and her dad the golf pro, teaching neruotic, flatulent animals the finer points of WASP sports. They're also just a generally well adjusted family - they spend time with each other, snack together, watch TV together. But they're sasquatches.

    Here's what DC has to say about the book:

    SASQUATCH DETECTIVE #1 written by BRANDEE STILWELL

    art by RON RANDALL and GUS VAZQUEZ

    cover by BEN CALDWELL

    Before Tonya Lightfoot became Los Angeles’ most decorated detective, she was a wee sasquatch roaming the Appalachian mountains, fed a steady diet of tennis and golf (as both of her parents are pros at the local country club) and CSI episodes. But her idyllic life of pranking campers and squatching around the local golf course hits a bump in the fire road when Bigfoot hunters come to the dense forest. Would Tonya back down in the face of adversity? Not yeti! But experiencing this abominable anti-sasquatch sentiment gives her the determination to leave her home behind—she heads to the dangers of the city. After all, it’s hard to fight unconscious bias, but crime is something America’s sassiest sasquatch is ready to tackle.
    This special features a new 30-page lead story plus the backup stories from EXIT STAGE LEFT: THE SNAGGLEPUSS CHRONICLES #2-6.

    Check it out!

    Sasquatch Detective #1

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