Friday, March 30, 2007

Infinite Wars: Ghost Rider vs Avengers

Three Angels Fallen! (Marvel comics)
Avengers #214 When: December 1981
Why: Jim Shooter How: Bob Hall

The story so far...
Johnny Blaze is a man both cursed and privileged with the power to become a demonic spirit of vengeance called the Ghost Rider. As Ghost Rider his whim is unpredictable, and it's this volatile nature that has led him into isolation as a wandering soul without a home.

When he spots billionaire playboy Warren Worthington III speeding through the desert, the Ghost Rider takes over and challenges his former Champions teammate to a race which sees the winged mutant hospitalized with severe injury.

The Avengers are alerted of the demon's warpath, and thus they arrive in the desert area of Alakali Flats to investigate and bring the Ghost Rider to justice. But the Ghost Rider is busy looking for Warren Worthington, and he intends to take anyone who would protect him to justice. Will the Avengers find him in time, or will he find them?!...

Full Article:

Monday, March 26, 2007

Infinite Wars: Thunderbolts vs Jack Flag

Faith In Monsters Part 2 (Marvel comics)
Thunderbolts #111 When: April 2007
Why: Warren Ellis How: Mike Deodato Jr.

The story so far...
Under the direction of Norman Osborn, the Thunderbolts have been completely overhauled in the wake of the Civil War. Incorporating existing members of the super-team and former criminals recruited to hunt rogue heroes, the new team is a volatile and untested mess.

Placing Moonstone in the position of leader, Osborn sends the team out on their first mission: Defeat and detain the rogue protégé of Captain America; Jack Flag.

With the press watching will this soft-target be the undoing of a team of reformed and manipulated villains. Or will they unravel live on the air?

Full Article:

Friday, March 23, 2007

Infinite Wars: Zangief vs R.Mika & Sakura

(UDON comics)
Street Fighter Legends #2 When: September 2006
Why: Ken Siu-Chong & Double KO How: Omar Dogan

The story so far...
Martial arts fanatic and school girl, Sakura Kusanago, begins her journey to become a great martial artist after meeting Ryu, the nomadic street fighting legend who dethroned the king of Muay Thai -- Sagat.

Staying in touch, Sakura receives the advice from Ryu that to become the ultimate martial artist, she should be open to learning from various styles. Thus, Sakura begins a new quest to learn from various fighting champions.

Her quest takes her to the professional wrestling show in town, where she hopes to observe her favourite wrestler in action -- Rainbow Mika! R. Mika defeats Zangief in the ring, but while signing autographs Sakura finds herself between Rainbow Mika and a challenge from the kayfabeless Zangief!

Full Article:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Infinite Wars: Avengers vs Symbiote

What If The Alien Costume had Possessed Spider-man? (Marvel comics)
What if...? #4 When: October 1989
Why: Danny Fingeroth How: Mark Bagley

The story so far...
In our reality Peter Parker was able to free himself of the influence of the alien symbiote he obtained during the Secret Wars, but in another universe Peter Parker was not so fortunate.

Reed Richards was able to intervene and remove the symbiotic costume to contain it, but neither he nor Dr. Strange could prevent the creature escaping to again seek out the Spider-man once more.

The symbiote reemerges during a battle between Dr. Strange and Hulk, and wrenches the green goliath from being banished to another dimension. Combatting Strange and Hulk, the symbiote recognises an even more powerful host, and thus the incredible Hulk becomes the possessor of the black costume.

Leaving behind a frail and aged Peter Parker, the symbiote-Hulk now has the combined might of Peter Parker, Dr. Strange, Reed Richards, Black Cat and the Avengers in pirsuit of it. But will they survive long enough to stop it?

Full Article:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Infinite Wars: Winter Soldier vs Wolverine

Origins and Endings: Part IV of V (Marvel comics)
Wolverine #39 When: April 2006
Why: Daniel Way How: Javier Saltares & Mark Texeira

The story so far...
During the Second World War, Bucky Barnes was sidekick to Captain America and tommy-gun wielding posterboy for the war against the Nazis! His will was almost as indominitable as his mentor's, and like the hero he was, he died fighting the fight... Or so it was thought.

In the time between then and now, Bucky Barnes' frozen body was recovered by the Russians. Lost limbs were replaced with cybernetics, and the boy called Bucky was reprogrammed to become the heartless assassin called Winter Soldier.

As the Winter Soldier he performed many assassinations and murders throughout the years, even as the Cold War came to an end. He would inevitably cross the path of old associates and friends of friends. One such mission brought him into contact with the Wolverine, where he would killed his wife and unborn child. Revenge is a dish best served cold...

Full Article:

Friday, March 16, 2007

Infinite Wars: Elektra vs Ronin

Revolution Part One (Marvel comics)
New Avengers #27 When: April 2007
Why: Brian Michael Bendis How: Leinil Yu

The story so far...
The heroes of the Marvel Universe have been wrapped up in the Civil War, but whilst acting on behalf of the New Avengers in Japan, Ronin, aka Echo, finds herself unsure of where she stands and who she can trust in the battle.

As she infiltrates the Japanese underworld under the guise of an innocent woman, she stalks them as a symbol in the form of Ronin, someone they would never suspect could be breaking them up from right under their noses.

Wise to her game, Elektra and her clan, The Hand, intervene and although Echo sends out for help from her friends, she finds herself forced to confront the deadly assassin and her undying hoardes.

Full Article:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Infinite Wars: Captain America vs Punisher

What If The Punisher had become Captain America (Marvel comics)
What if...? #51 When: July 1993
Why: Simon Furman How: Paris Cullins

The story so far...
In our world, blinded, Captain America was able to survive a brutal encounter with the Red Skull through luck and determination, but throughout the omniverse there are other worlds where he was not so fortunate.

Alive but mortally wounded, Steve Rogers demands there be a replacement in the Cap costume during the period of his recuperation. Thus, the search for a suitable substitute begins. Many men try and fail!

Astronaut John Jameson succumbs to a spell whilst in space, becoming a Man-Wolf; Robert Diamond dies at the hands of Count Nefaria; the gamma-irradiated Leonard Samson loses his mind in battle, and kills innocent civilians; and Kyle Richmond falls victim to the vampiric Baron Blood.

With his family caught in a gang-land crossfire, Frank Castle, having initial turned down the offer, now turns to the flag. As Captain America he will battle evil, but will this symbol for justice be enough for the unhinged ex-soldier?

Full Article:

Monday, March 12, 2007

Infinite Wars: Bullseye vs Daredevil

Hardcore: Part 4 (Marvel comics)
Daredevil #49 When: September 2003
Why: Brian Michael Bendis How: Alex Maleev

The story so far...
The bad blood between Bullseye and Daredevil is the stuff of legends, and as the Kingpin prepares to launch a final assault on Matt Murdock, Bullseye wants in!

What they don't realise is that Matt Murdock isn't playing the same game anymore, and things are turning around back onto the Kingpin of crime.

This is the big one as DD faces off with the man who has a history of killing his girlfriend, and is sneaking into his apartment home, where his blind wife Milla sleeps. Is it three for three, or has Bullseye missed the mark?

Full Article:

Friday, March 09, 2007

Infinite Wars: Trapster vs Spider-man & Ghost Rider

Panic On Pier One! (Marvel comics)
Marvel Team-Up #58 When: June 1977
Why: Chris Claremont How: Sal Buscema & P. Marcos

The story so far...
Whilst heading home, Peter Parker and Mary-Jane Watson find themselves in for a treat when they discover a film crew rolling outside of Peter's Chelsea residence.

Amongst the film crew is Johnny Blaze, playing the role of Stunt-Master.Blaze, stunt cyclist extraordinaire, is of course the alter ego of the demon spawn dark hero known as Ghost Rider, the spirit of vengeance!

Filming begins, but a routine stunt goes wrong when Blaze's front tyre is ensnared by an unseen adhesive shot atop one of the cars he's bunnyhopping. The force of his momentum tears the front tyre from the cycle, and Johnny Blaze makes the change from man, to Ghost Rider!

Webbing comes to the demon's aid at the last second, but when Spidey finds himself snared by thick paste, will the spirit of vengeance return the favour?

Full Article:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Infinite Wars: Punisher vs X-Men

What If... Wolverine had become the Lord of Vampires? (Marvel comics)
What if...? #24 When: April 1991
Why: Roy Thomas & RJM Lofficier How: Tom Morgan

The story so far...
When the X-Men battled the menace of Count Dracula, it was only the strength of character of Ororo Monroe, Storm, who had been possessed by the fiend, that saved the lives of the mutant team. But what if Storm had remained under Dracula's spell?

In a world where just that has happened, Dracula finds more than he bargained for when he returns to raise the defeated X-Men from the dead.

Wolverine proves too strong a will for Dracula contain, and ultimately slays him, making the X-Man the new lord of vampires. Having mastered the powers of the vampire, Wolverine and his vampires go on the rampage. They declare into their number heroes and villains alike, whilst destroying anyone who is deemed a potential threat -- including Dr. Strange, who falls at the hands of the Juggernaut.

Though dead, Strange remains in his astral, and recruits one of the last 'super' humans alive to his cause: Frank Castle -- The Punisher.

Full Article:

Monday, March 05, 2007

Infinite Wars: Scorpion vs Spider-man

The Predator and the Prey Part One: The Monster Within (Marvel comics)
Spectacular Spider-man #215 When: August 1994
Why: Tom DeFalco & Mike Lackey How: Sal Buscema

The story so far...
A millionaire China magnate and a genetically altered supervillain may not seem like obvious kindred spirits, but when Phillip Cussler Sr. emerges in the sewers to a raging Mac Gargan (aka; the Scorpion), the two strike up an unlikely relationship.

Cussler employs Scorpion's strength and criminal guile, with the promise that he can give the Scorpion the necessary guidance and cool-headed strategy to find purpose and strategy in combatting his problems, and the Spider-man.

With the Daily Bugle acting on behalf of Cussler Jr in the search for his father, Spider-man hopes to foil Scorpion's apparent hostage situation, unaware that Cussler is masterminding financial attacks on his own heirs. Also unaware that the Scorpion has a new power... strategy!

Full Article:

Friday, March 02, 2007

Infinite Wars: Steel vs Lex Luthor

Man Ain't Nothing But a Man (DC comics)
52 #42 When: April 2007
Why: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka & Mark Waid How: Keith Giffen & Chris Batista

The story so far...
Lex Luthor's everyman project appears to have discovered means of granting normal human beings fantastic powers through the use of an injectable meta-gene therapy.

The only side effects appear to be the development of superpowers, and in the case of John Henry Irons, the armored hero once called Steel, this means literally becoming a man of steel.

When his powers begin to dissipate, Irons realises Luthor's meta-gene not only has finite potential, but also a potential 'off-switch', which leads to the deaths of several experiment subjects. Thus, Irons shrugs off a bitter depression, and dons the Steel armor once more to confront the evil Lex Luthor.

Full Article:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Infinite Wars: Slam Bradley vs Batman

MONTHLY PUNCH-UP #15 (March 2007)
Wild Ride: Meanwhile (DC)
Where: Catwoman #22 When: August 2003
Why: Ed Brubaker How: Nick Derington & Cameron Stewart

Quick Fix...
Another big month for the site, and here we are at another opportunity to reveal just how full of shite I really am.
Batman returns with a vengeance to the site with yet another appearance, a mere month or two after I said it might be lights out for the dark knight. I bow!

Wanted to get some DC action up here for the Quick Fix at the very least, and where better was there to go for a quick tussle than Ed Brubaker's revolutionary work on the revamped Catwoman title? Actually, it was a nice opportunity to visit this series for the first time at Secret Earths, perhaps largely due to the fact it was driven by more than fisticuffs.

Ed Brubaker's come up a few times recently, mostly through his Daredevil work, but his status as darling of Marvel comics was preceded by some very solid work as one-half of the writing team of the critically acclaimed Gotham Central, and of course, as writer here on Catwoman.

I have to admit, a lot of what made this such an attractive read is the visual style, which owes a lot to Darwyn Cooke's role in kicking off this new approach to the character, but is followed through well by a team comprised of Cameron Stewart, Guy Davis, Nick Derington, Matt Hollingsworth and apparently a slew of others, whose significance blurs amongst all the issues.

Full Article: