Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How To Make Cool Comic Words!

This is something that the cool science fiction comic writers like Arnold Drake realized, and what the current comic "idea man," Grant Morrison knows....and now YOU can, too!!!

How to make cool comic words.

The first step is to find a normal word that you want to use. Better to use big words, but you can use small words, if you'd like.

A good example is, say, transformer.

Normal, standard word, right?

Okay, here is the trick.

You pick ANOTHER word, a word more identified with comics, and add that to the BEGINNING of the word (normally with a hyphen, but not always).




See how easy it is?

So now you know how to make comic words.

Like when Superman wants to listen in on something, he doesn't use his hearing...he uses his SUPER-hearing!

In the Guardians of the Galaxy, Charlie-27 was not in the militia, he was in the SPACE-militia.

Thanos didn't go around picking up special gems, he picked up INFINITY gems.

Galactus wouldn't mind a nullifier, but when shown the ULTIMATE nullifier, THEN he was worried.

Class dismissed!!

Monday, May 30, 2005

What is the most popular odd superpower?

Okay, everyone has superspeed.

Lots of people have superstrength.

Flight? Of course.

However, what is the most popular ODD superpower?


Nightcrawler, Blink, The Vanisher, Warp, Ambush Bug, Lila Cheney, Azazel, Lockjaw, Gateway, U-Go-Girl, The Spot, Spiral...and I know I am missing some.

Magnetic powers?

Magneto, Polaris, Doctor Polaris (Marvel characters just don't get the same education as DC characters!), Aura, Zaladane, Dr. Diehard (see, ANOTHER DC doctor!) and Cosmic Boy (not to mention his whole planet!).


Plastic Man, Mr. Fantastic, Elongated Man, Jimmy Olsen...hmmm, not as many, but that's still a lot!!

I think am going with elasticity!

How about you all?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Hidden Cover Images Fun for 5/29


FOUR covers where the hidden numbers are legible (they are not easy to see, but they ARE legible!)!!!


These are the last of John Byrne's X-Men: Hidden Years covers.

You are looking for #84 in this cover...

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You are looking for #85 in this cover...

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You are looking for #86 in this cover...

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You are looking for #87 in this cover...

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Good luck!

They ARE all visible, just not easy to see!


Good huntin'!!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Anonymity of DC Olympics

You ever notice that DC has all these former Olympians that NOone recognizes?!?

That always struck me as odd.

And then, when Arrowette wins the Gold Medal, she becomes SUPER FAMOUS!!

Seems like an odd situation.

Then again, as we saw in the Young Justice issue, the DC Olympics are a messed-up place, with evil countries competing with mercenaries!!!

Then again...does Marvel even HAVE an Olympics?!?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 5/27

Today's theme?


Basically, most good robots in comics have, at one point or another, gone wild.

1. Vision takes over the world. Early in Roger Stern's run on Avengers, Vision was incapacitated. He was healed by help of this giant alien computer. What we DIDN'T know is that the giant alien computer was filling Vision's head with all these crazy ideas about how he had to take over the world to better run it. So the Avengers ended up having to take down the Vision. When he was cleared of the computer's influence, he retired from superheroing. However, the governments of the world did not trust that he would LATER become a threat, so they took him apart during John Byrne's West Coast Avengers run (soon to be collected into a TPB!). In any event, many years passed, and just recently, the Scarlet Witch used her powers to make Vision go bad AGAIN - leading to She-Hulk going nuts (also due to Wanda) and tearing the Vision apart.

2. The Metal Men have been turned against the good guys on more than one occasion. Once, Lex Luthor messed with their responsometers and changed them all into living kryptonite and set them after Superman. More recently, when Brainiac 13 took over all technology in Metropolis during Y2K, the Metal Men were among the robots he controlled as his soldiers.

3. Tomorrow Woman was the first new member of Grant Morrison's Justice League of America, and she turned out to be an android designed by Professor Ivo and T.O. Morrow!! Luckily, when she was turned against the Justice League to betray them, she managed to eventually fight off her programming and sacrifice herself!

4. Superman Robot was designed by Superman to help keep a watch on things while he was busy elsewhere. After Superman got caught up in a silly "control the world to protect it" scenario, he scrapped his robots. However, during a crossover between Young Justice and Titans, a Superman robot got loose from STAR Labs and killed TWO Titans! Donna Troy and Lilith Cray both fell to the might of the Superman-esque robot.

5. Indigo (SPOILER ALERT!) showed up during that same crossover, and while she seemed quite evil at first, she soon turned out to be a very important member of the Outsiders. Then, just recently, we learned that Indigo has always been under the control of none other than Brainiac!!!!

That's my five - see if you can recall anymore!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Snark Free No Prize Game - YOUR Help Needed!

Marvel does not do No Prizes at the moment, so I figure, why not do them HERE?!?

So every Thursday, we will take a crack at coming up with No Prize solutions to Marvel comics!

For people who don't know what a No Prize, it used to be awarded for anyone who caught a mistake in a Marvel comic and then came up with a feasible reason why it was NOT, in fact, a mistake!

So everyone, come up with some good Marvel mistakes you have noticed in the last year or so, and the Snark Free Panel of Experts will try to come up with No Prizes for them!

Post them in response to this entry, and next Thursday, we will begin!

Anyone whose suggestion we decide to answer will win an official Snark Free Happy Joy Comic Blog NO-PRIZE!!!


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fun With Cover Homages for 5/25

First issues sure are fun to homage!

Take, for instance, the cover to Superman's first solo title - Superman in 1939!

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George Perez homaged it with the "first issue" of the return to Superman's own solo feature in Action Comics #643...

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This Elseworlds (under the premise of what if the Waynes found baby Kal-El) also homaged it...

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I do not know what this book is about, but hey, an homage is an homage!!

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Finally, the most recent homage...Majestic #1!

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Feel free to fill me in if I missed any, folks!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sign That You've Gone Too Far #1

A lot of ideas get thrown around in comicdom, and occasionally, they can go a step too far. Not a big deal, but we should identify them so that perhaps the companies can say, "Ah...yes...a bit too far."

Or, as the great World War II movies said, "A Bridge Too Far."

In any event, today's inaugural "Sign That You've Gone Too Far" is Termanatrix Objective #1.

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If you have gotten to the point that three of your most popular superheroes each have a replacement hero who is basically the same type of hero, only being a different person with a slightly different looking outfit...and then you have them all team-up together?

You have probably gone too far.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Scarlet Witch - Miss Popularity

Yes, she is the midst of a big ol' thing in the pages of House of M with her being crazy and all, but I would like to look at the other really weird aspect of Scarlet Witch - how popular she is with gentlemen in the Marvel Universe.

When she was a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Toad had a thing for her.

Then, when she joined the Avengers, she developed a crush on Captain America.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye developed a crush on HER.

Then, Hercules joined and also had a thing for her.

Arkon kidnapped her to be his queen.

Then she had her courtship with the Vision, leading to their marriage.

Once that fell apart, Wonder Man revealed his feelings for her and they dated for awhile.

I guess Crystal and Wasp could give her a BIT of a run for her money, and Storm is a real challenger, but I think Scarlet Witch is still the top when it comes to making other characters swoon for her.

What do y'all think?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Rann/Thanagar: A counterpoint

I am afraid that I must file a minority report in the statement of sides in the Rann/Thanagar Conflict.

While my more pacifistic compatriots have decided to support the cause of the peace loving Rann(ians? sters?), I make my bold claim that I stand by the side of Thanagar. I make this decision not lightly, nor simply to be contrary to Cronin and his "cajoling." My reasons for picking Thanagar are quite valid, and shall be outlined below.

First off, appearance. Thangarians look so much cooler than the Rannsters. It all basically comes down to the basic, age-old debate of wings vs. fins. Wings are infinitely better than fins, providing a much broader range of versitility. Fins, when you think about it, are quite pussy-esque in nature. What are the Rannsters going to do, swim at me? Please. Ah, but wings, on the other hand, are regal and majestic. From the soaring Eagles (Go Philly!) to the diving hawks, wings win without question.

Point the second. Military aptitude. Thanagar is basically a bunch of army dudes. Rann is a bunch of nerdy dudes. Plus Adam Strange. And maybe this is just me, but I highly doubt that one guy can take on an army. I mean, Thanagar has battalions and squadrons and brigades. There's just no competing with that.

Point number three. Relations with Earth. Yeah, ok, so Thanagar tried to invade us. At least they noticed us! When was the last time Rann did anything for Earth? I can't even remember getting a Christmas card from them last year. I mean, yeah, we kinda fell out of touch after college, and we both went our separate ways, but would a phonecall every now and again be too much to ask for? Would it Rann? Would it?

Ahem. In conclusion, Thanagar is the side that I pledge my allegiance to. Cronin and Whitmore be damned.

Hidden Cover Images Fun for 5/21

I could not find great cover scans of most of these issues, so I am only printing two of the five covers (the ones where the numbers are clearly visable).

You are looking for #79 in this cover...

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and #81 in this cover.

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Good luck with your hunt!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Have You Ever Been Cajoled?

Well, I have, and said cajoling was by the evil Absorbascon.

So I will express the position of the Snark Free Happy Joy Comic Blog on the Rann/Thanagar War (withOUT consulting the Seans!).

The Snark Free Happy Joy Comic Blog supports the peace-loving nerds of Rann over the bullies of Thanagar.

I mean, seriously, how can I support a planet that tried to INVADE EARTH!??!?!

Rann is a pal of Earth while Thanagar tried to INVADE it!!!

And Rann never messed with Justice League continuity like Thanagar did (See the unholy continuity mess that was Hawkworld, where John Ostrander was awarded the Bronze Star of Continuity-Fixing with his work in explaining away the continuity snafus caused by Hawkworld).

There, our position has been stated!

Whoever said strong arm tactics do not work?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 5/20

Brand new shtick!!!

Every Friday, I will pick a "theme" (some people might call it a "cliche," but not here at Snark Free Happy Joy Comic Blog!! Here it is a THEME!) and find at least five comics that FIT that theme!!

Today's theme?


An often used theme is that of age-regression.

1. One of the first prominent uses of age-regression was in the pages of Wonder Woman. The books had already begun telling stories about Wonder Woman when she was a girl, and even as a toddler!

Well, in one issue, they went even further, and had Wonder Woman actually be de-aged so that she could communicate with an infant!

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Wonder Tot, indeed!!

2. Age-regression can be a fun tool to explain away a character's age.

For instance, after Magneto messed around with this dude, Alpha the Ultimate Mutant..

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he ended up being regressed to infancy.

When he was RE-aged later on, it was able to explain why he was in decent shape for a Holocaust survivor.

3. The same tool was used in the pages of Sensational She-Hulk, where She-Hulk's supporting character from World War II was age-regressed (it was based, I believe, upon a very metafictional approach - the more the Blonde Phantom appeared in comics, the more she would be de-aged, just like how Batman and Superman have not aged, since they appear in comics a LOT).

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4. In the pages of Green Lantern Corps, the same de-aging occured for Alan Scott, using the Starheart (the source of his powers) to explain it away.

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5. Sometimes, de-aging is a result of bad guys, like was the case when the Legion of Superheroes nemesis, Glorith, de-aged a few of the characters in a major battle (she also AGED some characters, as well).

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6. Also, during the whole Nanny and Orphanmaker storyline, Storm was de-aged.

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7. Finally, a couple of years ago, Young Justice had a big storyline where Klarion the Witch Boy cast a spell that made every hero on Earth switch ages. If you were young, you were now old. If you were old, you were now young. If you were REALLY old (JSA-old), you were REALLY young.

Here is what happened to the JSA...

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Ta da!

Feel free to share any other examples of this theme that you can think of!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Coolest Barbershop in Comics

Since the new Fantastic Four movie is being directed by the director of the film, Barbershop, it is only right to mention the coolest barbershop in comics - namely, the S.H.I.E.L.D. barbershop!

First introduced in Strange Tales #136 (the second appearance of S.H.I.E.L.D. period), the barbershop (most certainly influenced by the laundromat secret entrance on the Man from U.N.C.L.E.) was the cover to the entrance of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secret headquarters.

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Every time S.H.I.E.L.D. was attacked, they would move the main entrance (at one point, it was at a pizza parlor!).

In addition, soon the hydraulic system would be replaced.

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The new system used holograms rather than long chutes.

You have to love the old security of S.H.I.E.L.D., they'd let almost anyone into the chutes, and at the end of the line, they'd be ready with a couple of agents with guns.

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Perhaps it was not the most efficient system (as S.H.I.E.L.D. dropped it altogether in the 90s), but it was most certainly the coolest!

(Images courtesy of this really cool S.H.I.E.L.D. website.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Fun With Cover Homages for 5/18

This one deserves an homage, as it is the very first modern superhero cover!

Yep, I'm talking about Action Comics #1!

Here it is...

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We had to wait for MARVEL to first homage the cover!

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DC's first homage was with Supergirl striking the pose after the death of Superman..

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Next, we see ill-advised character Scorn strike the pose...

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Exactly a year later, we see future Superman strike the pose...

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Finally, Mr Majestic is the last one to use the pose...

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This last one is interesting, as it is a bit different than normal, as it is a redo of the Action Comics #1 cover, just from a different perspective!!

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Cool, eh?

Did I miss any? Fill me in!

omike015 and naladahc chipped in these ones that I missed.

Secret Origins #1 has a faraway look at the cover...

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John Byrne has She-Hulk pretty much duplicate the feat...

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Finally, Superboy definitely does a riff on it...

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Thanks for the suggestions, folks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ice Was a Cool Comic Character

I remember at one point, Mark Waid said that the biggest mistake he ever made was killing off Ice.

I believe he said this in, like, 1996 so I do not know if he still feels that way, but I would not begrudge him if he did, as I think the loss of Ice was a real shame in the DC Universe, as she was a fine character.

What is funny is that Giffen and DeMatteis did not even really WANT her to begin with. They just wanted more female characters for the league after they lost Black Canary to the gritty Green Arrow.

So they settled on two Global Guardians, Fire and Ice.

Their combo was great, but it was brilliant to team her up with Guy Gardner in a romantic relationship.

I bring this up now because of tomorrow's JLA Classified, which is a very good issue by Giffen/DeMatteis dealing with Ice's demise.

It really shows how much she touched a lot of heroes' hearts.

My three favorite issues with Ice are the issue right after the League thinks Mister Miracle has died, and Guy and Ice have a nice moment together.

Next, the issue where they go to the Ice Dancing show.

Finally, I especially recommend the issue of Justice League Quarterly written by Mark Waid, where he shows that Ice's power is not really shooting out ice blasts, but it is her heart.

Great character.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Imaginary Stories Rule!

Here is the coolest thing I've seen from DC in awhile...

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DC's Greatest Imaginary Stories!!

How cool is that?

So here is my question to all of y'all...what would your five favorite "out of continuity" stories by DC?

Silver Age or Elseworlds, whichever.

Mine are as follows:

1. Superman Red/Superman Blue

2. Dark Knight Returns

3. Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

4. That one where Superman dies and Supergirl steps into his place.

5. The one with Dick Grayson as Batman II

What say you all?

The eleven Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) artists who never drew J. Jonah Jameson

The eleven artists are:

Alan Weiss
Luke McDonnell
Alan Kupperberg
Bob Layton
Mike Harris
Alex Saviuk
Mike Zeck
Cyndy Martin
Colleen Doran
Angel Medina
Darick Robertson
Rafael Kayanan

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Hiding in the Cover Fun for May 15th

After going to post the answers for the first six issues of the Hidden Years, I realized that either

A. Byrne hid the numbers too well


B. They do not come out in the scans very well.

Byrne really REALLY improved this during the last half of the series, so I am just going to skip to those issues.

Here is #11 and #12, with the numbers 77 and 78 being hidden in the covers, respectively.

I'll print the last ten over the next two weeks.

Good hunting!

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Snapper Carr - The Poor Man's Rick Jones

Recently, on my bit about how Rick Jones is the most diversified supporting character in comics, someone mentioned Snapper Carr.

And while Snapper is not up to Rick's level, he still led a quite interesting comic career. Interesting enough that I will quickly detail it.

1. Snapper helped the Justice League in their very first appearance! He aided them in their defeat of Starro. That is where he became their mascot.

2. For the early issue of Justice League of America, Snapper worked a lot like Rick Jones in Avengers. No powers of any kind, but he still hung out with the team each issue, occasionally even being useful!

3. However, Snapper screwed the pooch when he was tricked into betraying the Justice League.

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This was also Snapper's FIRST cover appearance!

4. Snapper showed up as the Star Tsar, but he was just being used.

5. Snapper's next real appearance was during Invasion!, when he gained superpowers along with a group of other random humans, and they formed a funny superteam called The Blasters (Snapper could teleport by snapping his fingers).

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6. Snapper then became the best friend of the android known as Hourman.

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7. After that series ended, Snapper became the new adult supervisor for Young Justice.

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That's the last we've seen of Snapper.

So he's had a memorable supporting character career, just not nearly as memorable of Mr. Jones (a Bob Dylan reference sneaking in there! What are the odds?!!?).

Friday, May 13, 2005

Great Supporting Characters - Maggie Sawyer

Let's give the background characters a moment in the spotlight!

One of the coolest aspects of John Byrne's Superman revamp was the introduction of Maggie Sawyer, the head of the Special Crimes Unit in Metropolis.

Obviously, such a unit would often come into contact with Superman, and Maggie became close friends with Superman.

Maggie had been married once, and had a child, but left town when she realized she was a lesbian.

In Metropolis, she began seeing Lois Lane-esque reporter, Toby Bailey.

Heck, no wonder Superman and Maggie got along so well, they even have the same taste in women!

Maggie was a cop in Star City before she left, and I always thought that a story that we never saw and we SHOULD have seen is seeing Maggie in her Star City days, as you got to figure she ran into Green Arrow more than a few times.

I would have loved to have seen that confrontation.

After being a supporting character in the Superman books for a long time, Maggie admittedly fell to the wayside a bit, so when Gotham Central started, Greg Rucka imported Maggie to Gotham City to join the cast of Gotham Central.

A big loss to the Superman titles.

Maggie even once starred in her own mini-series (ostensibly titled Metropolis SCU)!!

Here's Maggie as depicted on the cover of one of the issues of that mini-series.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Hidden Gem - Betty's Diary

This was a little bit before the Archie explosion of the late 80s that I detailed earlier.

This title was a normal Archie title, only it was in the style of Betty telling stories into her diary.

The key difference was the style of the stories. They were not just wacky adventures, they were more heartfelt and often fairly serious in nature.

I am not sure who wrote the series, but whoever it was, s/he did a very good job capturing the whole vibe of a teenage girl. Very Judy Blume-esque.

The series did not last long (only five years or so), but it was a good run while it lasted.

I bet you could find some of the issues cheap!

Anyone remember this series at all?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Fun With Cover Homages for 5/11

An EXPLOSION of cover homages!!

This week's series of homages is of Incredible Hulk #1!

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The first homage (that I know of) was when Al Milgrom brought back the Grey Hulk.

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Next, Dale Keown gave us a near-perfect copy of the first issue.

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For the "last" issue of Hulk's original title (which was, of course, Hulk's SECOND title), Javiar Pulido (that IS Pulido, right?) gives us this one.

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Finally, John Snyder gives us this homage for the cover of an Overstreet last year.

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Am I missing any, folks?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Rick Jones - Renaissance Man

How cool of a character is Rick Jones?!?!

Let me give you a quick timeline of Rick Jones, the comic book character...

1. Bruce Banner saves Jones' life from a Gamma Explosion, turning Banner into the Hulk. Jones feels responsible (duh!) and befriends the Hulk.

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2. Jones forms the Teen Brigade to help out superheroes.

3. Jones' Teen Brigade are used by Loki to draw a group of heroes together, but accidentally causes the heroes to form the Avengers. Jones hangs out with the Avengers, and meets Captain America, who quickly befriends Rick.

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4. Rick becomes Captain America's sidekick as Bucky.

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5. After that falls through, Rick ends up merging with Marr-Vell, the Kree warrior known on Earth as Captain Marvel!

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6. Rick and Captain Marvel get caught up in the Skrull-Kree War (as it was called then, natch), and Rick is used to win the entire war with some weird "Destiny" powers!

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7. Rick learns he has cancer from the Gamma explosion, and starts hanging out with Rom the Space Knight (eventually being cured of the cancer by the Beyonder in the issue below).

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8. After that is over, Rick begins to hang out with Bruce Banner and the Hulk again, and even gets turned into a version of the Hulk.

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9. Rick then went on the run with the Hulk (now the Grey Hulk) until the events of Ground Zero left the Hulk seemingly dead.

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10. Rick caught up with the Hulk much later, and started hanging out with him again, especially when the Hulk began to apparently be controlled by Banner. Rick even got married during this period.

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11. After a falling out with the Hulk, Rick tried being a celebrity, but then was injured in a Hulk conflict, which he stood until he got caught up in ANOTHER Avengers space epic.

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12. When THAT ended, Rick found himself being merged with Marr-Vell's SON, genis, the NEW Captain Marvel!!

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Has any supporting characters in comics ever had such a diverse list of books being a supporting character in?