Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Infinite Wars: Green Goblin vs Spider-man

(Marvel comics)
Spider-man When: 2002
Why: Sam Raimi & David Koepp How: Tobey Maguire & Willem DaFoe

The story so far...
Whilst on excursion, High School student Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically engineered spider, altering his own DNA in a process that results in the proportionate strength, speed, agility and web-spinning of a spider!

After letting a thief get away, Peter's beloved surrogate-father, Uncle Ben Parker, is murdered by the man. Inspired by his uncle's words, Peter begins his career as Spider-man, living by the code that with great power, comes great responsibility.

His life as Peter Parker and career as Spider-man collide when his best friend's father, scientist Norman Osborn, goes insane after undergoing a treatment designed by his own organization to enhance strength. As the Green Goblin Norman comes to wage a war against Spider-man, and when he learns that he and Parker are one and the same, he inevitably goes after the ones Peter loves.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Infinite Wars: Mandarin vs Iron Man

Hands of the Mandarin Part 6 of 6 (Marvel comics)
Iron Man #312 When: January 1995
Why: Len Kaminski How: Tom Morgan

The story so far...
Iron Man and War Machine are forced to put their growing differences aside, and team together with the other members of Force Works to face The Mandarin at the very height of powers.

In possession of the mystic Heart of Darkness, The Mandarin has summoned elemental avatars to aid him in his war on technology. More powerful than ever, the Heart of Darkness allows him to create an anti-technology field of energy that is expanding ever more outward from his base in Hong Kong.

Also in possession of Century's mysterious Parallax weapon, the Mandarin sits poised to rule the globe in a time of fear and confusion. Only Iron Man and Force Works can put a stop to his terror, but can the tech hero withstand Mandarin's might? Or is this the end of the era of the invincible Iron Man?

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Infinite Wars: Ronan the Accuser vs Silver Surfer

Masques! (Marvel comics)
Silver Surfer #13 When: July 1988
Why: Steve Englehart How: Joe Staton

The story so far...
The Kree Supreme Intelligence has fallen, and civil unrest over the choice of his successor has the blue and pink empire riddled with insubordinates. Fortunately for the empire and it's new ruler; Ronan, Supreme Accuser, is more than up to the task of preventing successful rebellion or assassination.

Too bad for Ronan he doesn't know the new Supreme Leader he defends so vigilantly is in fact a shape-shifting member of their sworn enemy -- the Skrull!

To distract Ronan from the developing Skrull plans, and to eliminate the Silver Surfer's allegiance with the Kree, the phony Supreme Leader sends Ronan on a mission to accuse and execute the Surfer. Ronan relishes the opportunity to clash with the power cosmic, but will the unaware Surfer be so full of glee?

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Infinite Wars: Sinister Twelve vs Avengers

Last Stand: Part III of IV (Marvel comics)
Marvel Knights: Spider-man #11 When: April 2005
Why: Mark Millar How: Terry & Rachel Dodson

The story so far...
For the entirety of Peter Parker's career one villain has stood ahead of the rest of them, being the first to discover his true identity, and terrorize him in both his alias and civilian identity. Few villains have shaped Spider-man's life the way Norman Osborn has, aka the Green Goblin.

Finally behind bars, Osborn continues to have an influence as Mac Gargan, the Scorpion, sets in motion a contingency plan arranged years earlier between the two lethal villains. A plan that instructed Scorpion to kidnap an elderly woman should he ever go down -- a woman named May Parker!

Having helped his oldest foe to escape prison; Spider-man, along with the Black Cat, walks right into another of his grand schemes bringing together an assembly of Spidey's most lethal of foes as the Sinister Twelve! With each villain sponsored by Osborn and his advanced technologies, it seems like certain doom for Spider-man and Black Cat, but help may just be on the way!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Infinite Wars: Spider-man vs Grey Gargoyle

For Better and For Worse! (Marvel comics)
Marvel: Heroes & Legends #1 When: October 1996
Why: Stan Lee & Fabian Nicieza How: John Romita Sr.

The story so far...
Reed Richards and Susan Storm, known to the world as Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Girl of the super hero sensation the Fantastic Four are finally getting married. It should be the happiest day of their lives, but we all know better!

With the city gathered for the event, it doesnt take long for chaos to grip the city as the collective efforts of some of the most notorious super villains set their plans into motion, all at the manipulation of the jealous Dr. Doom!

The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-man, Daredevil and others pitch in their efforts to contain the threat, but not even the blushing bride can avoid being dragged into the epic battle! Can good triumph over evil on this most audacious of occasions, or will this bad omen prove to be the end of the wedding, and all else?!

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Infinite Wars: Red Hood vs Speedy

RED HOOD versus SPEEDYSeeing Red Part Four: Back To School Night (DC comics)
Green Arrow #72 When: May 2007
Why: Judd Winick How: Scott McDaniel

The story so far...
Red Hood has teamed with former Star City criminal mastermind, Brick, to initiate a sinister plan against Green Arrow and his former ally, the Batman, but to what ends?

Though Green Arrow and Batman successfully defeat their opponents in the villain swap, the realisation that they were being distracted while the real plan was enacted comes too late.

With Speedy subdued, the Red Hood plans t ocontinue his path of corruption, turning to the current generation of sidekick. Will the Red Hood allow Speedy to live? Will he convert her to his extreme tactics? Read on to find out!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Infinite Wars: Venom & Spider-man vs Carnage

The Hatred, The Horror And The Hero: Maximum Carnage Chapter 14, Part 2 (Marvel comics)
Spider-man Unlimited #2 When: August 1993
Why: Tom DeFalco How: Ron Lim

The story so far...
The assembled might of Spider-man, Venom, Black Cat, Captain America, Iron Fist, Deathlok, Cloak, Dagger, Morbius and Nightwatch has finally broken up the reign of terror perpetrated by the Carnage Family, but the fight has not yet been won!

Carnage has escaped death once more, but Venom remains dedicated to hunting down the symbiote spawn of his own alien costume, and destroying it, with or without Spider-man's approval.

Spidey's sense of responsibility brings him to the fight, but as Cletus Kasady becomes further detached from reality, Spidey cannot escape the pull of pity, feeling a responsibility to protect Carnage from Venom's lethal objectives. Has Spidey done the ultimate good, or sealed his fate by stepping into the crossfire of two of his most powerful enemies? Stay tuned!

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Infintie Wars: Dragon Man vs Deathlok

Dead Man Walking (Marvel comics)
Beyond! #3 When: November 2006
Why: Dwayne McDuffie How: Scott Kolins

The story so far...
The cosmic entity called The Beyonder has been abducting heroes from the Marvel universe with a simple decree: "Slay your enemies and all you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!"

The ragtag grouping of Spider-man, Venom, Gravity, Firebird, Henry Pym, Wasp, Medusa, Kraven and the hood are torn apart when, interpreting the Beyonder literally, Venom appears to slay his mortal enemy - Spider-man.

The other heroes quickly turn on Venom, and although he manages to escape their clutches, his decisions ultimately lead to the crash landing of their spaceship on Battleworld. Here, the group sans Venom encounter "Michael", who is actually Deathlok, the survivor of a previous group. Unfortunately for them, however, he wasn't the only person whose attentions were razed...

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Infinite Wars: Avengers vs The Hand

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

The story so far...
In the wake of Wolverine's tenure as a Hydra puppet, Elektra has taken control of The Hand, but it hasn't been the gift to peace some may have expected it to be.

During the superhero Civil War the hero called Echo has been investigating in Japan under the created guise of Ronin. Her operations in the Japanese underworld have attracted the attentions of Elektra and her new Hand clan.

An SOS distress she sends out to her jailed friend Matt Murdock proves to arrive too late, and Echo is killed, only to be resurrected by The Hand to be an instrument of Elektra. That is, unless her friends make the save! Better late than never...

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Infinite Wars: Black Adam vs Azraeuz

Every Hour Wounds, The Last Kills (DC comics)
52 #45 When: May 2007
Why: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka & Mark Waid How: Chris Batista, Jamal Igle & Keith Giffen

The story so far...
The nation of Khandaq has endured great hardship since Black Adam's coup of power, but war and unrest is quickly overshadowed as the nation becomes stricken with disease and famine, seemingly without a cause.

The true nature of Khandaq's hardship reveals itself in the form of the new Monster Society, each member representing one of the four fabled horsemen. The group is successful in killing Black Adam's adopted brother and sister, Osiris and Isis, but Adam slaughters all their number, save Death himself.

Having acted in conjunction with the corrupt governments being manipulated by Intergang - a criminal group Black Adam refused to involve himself with - Azraeuz flees to the neighbouring nation of Bialya. Unfortunately for them, Black Adam knows that, and with his family buried, is ready to take a trip...

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Infinite Wars: Spider-man vs Green Goblin

He Who Laughs Last...! (Marvel comics)
Amazing Spider-man #176 When: January 1978
Why: Len Wein How: Ross Andru

The story so far...
Aunt May is in the hospital after a heated exchange with a police officer during a rights for the elderly march, but Spidey's got more problems than just the wacky adventures of the terminally hospitalized Golden Oldie!

Psychologist supreme, Dr. Hamilton, has been kidnapped with signs of a struggle, and all signs point to a patient who's gone off the deep end -- but isn't Dr. Hamilton treating the amnesia stricken Green Goblin, Harry Osborn?

That's right true believers! The Green Goblin is back in action, and his first stop is his apartment, where he rooms with one Flash Thompson. Uh oh, looks like Flash is about to step in it real good, unless a certain spectacular individual can spider his way over there!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Infinite Wars: Sub-Mariner vs Attuma

What If... Destiny Had Not Destroyed Atlantis? (Marvel comics)
What If? #41 When: October 1983
Why: Alan Zelenetz How: Marc Silvestri & Mel Candido

The story so far...
Possessing the Helmet of Power, a criminal mastermind called Destiny attempts to conquer the world, rock the undersea kingdom of Atlantis to it's very core.
Responding to the threat, Emperor Thakorr sends the avenging son, Namor, out into the field to put a stop to the attacks, but Namor is bested and has his memory stripped from him, leaving him to dwell among the surface dwellers lost and without a history.

In this world, however, the Sub-Mariner is victorious against the threat of Destiny, and while a plot of assassination and treason takes place back in Atlantis. Byrrah sets in motion his plan to seize the throne, and ultimately frames the Sub-Mariner himself for the murder of Thakorr.

Denying the will of Neptune himself, Namor enters a self-imposed exile, turning his back on a people blind enough to fall for the ploys of a corrupt dignitary. Poetic irony sees Byrrah comes under a coup himself, set upon by the barbaric Attuma who believes himself a superior ruler to the pompous murderer. But will Namor answer the call of his people, or turn his back forevermore?...

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Infinite Wars: General Zod vs Superman

Last Son: Part Three (DC comics)
Action Comics #846 When: February 2007
Why: Geoff Johns & Richard Donner How: Adam Kubert

The story so far...
A long time ago on the planet Krypton, a brilliant scientist named Non served as mentor to a man named Jor-El. Together they made the grim discovery of the impending destruction of their own planet. A discovery that saw them chastized by their own leaders, and the two were commanded to cease further investigation.

Jor-El chose to use the knowledge to save his only son, Kal-El, by building a rocket ship that could travel to a planet far away and sustain him so that Krypton may continue through his blood.
Non, on the other hand, took his message of doom and attempted to inspire enlightened dissent in the Kryptonians.

Non was captured and his mind was irrevocably damaged as punishment for his disobedience. It was this act that finally inspired the militant Zod into action, and together with the brutish Non and another named Ursa, they rebelled. Though Zod attempted to recruit Jor-El to their cause, it would ultimately be the scientist who would defeat him, imprisoning him in the Phantom Zone, recognising his motivations as greed, rather than nobility.

Decades later, Zod has been set free, and he is most displeased...

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Infinite Wars: Sandman vs Spider-man

Homesick (Marvel comics)
Spider-man Family #1 When: April 2007
Why: Sean McKeever How: Terrell Bobbett

The story so far...
For much of his life William Baker has struggled with right and wrong. After escaping from prison Baker took a nap on a beach where he was the victim of bizarre radioactive waste which caused a molecular shift in the composition of his body, giving him great power over the sand particles that would now make-up his body.

Rather than using his new powers responsibly, Baker continues his career in crime as the Sandman, clashing with Spider-man time after time. A series of defeats and repeat sentences in jail eventually lead to a shift in the sands of the Sandman.

Desperate for an opportunity to live a normal life free of his criminal history, Sandman tries to adjust in various ways. One way is getting a job lugging crates at the docks, but when Spider-man comes swinging-by looking for trouble, he feels an obligation to step in an help his fellows. But Spidey isn't backing down!

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Infinite Wars: Black Adam vs Psycho-Pirate

MONTHLY PUNCH-UP #17 (May 2007)
Touchdown (DC)
Where: Infinite Crisis #6 When: May 2006
Why: Geoff Johns How: Phil Jimenez, Jerry Ordway, George Perez, Ivan Reis (If you know which, post a comment)

Quick Fix...
There's a very simple reason for going back to Infinite Crisis for this month's Quick Fix. Actually, there are more accurately two reasons. The most culturally relevant is the nature of the story, which has recently been revealed to have had greater repercussions than we actually knew.

As of 52 #52 the revelation has been revealed that the multiverse within the DC universe has been reduced to fifty-two very specific Earths. From what I gather, each Earth was apparently identical to the DC planet we read, but the time travelling interference of Mister Mind has resulted in anomalies on each. Thus, we have places like the Wildstorm Universe.

The secondary reason, of course, is an opportunity to talk about Black Adam, who has easily burst out of season 06/07 as the most improved player in mainstream superhero comics. I struggle to think of any character that even challenges his rise to stardom in scope, or in creative quality, which has been with Black Adam in abundance right back from his return in JSA under Geoff Johns [and David Goyer].

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