Friday, September 30, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 9/30

Today's theme is "A Hero Marks a Momentous Change In His/Her Life With a Costume Change"!!

1. To signify his coming to terms with his new-found understanding of how his ionic powers work, Simon Williams adopted a brand new costume in Wonder Man #25.

2. To signify his coming to terms with his place in the grand scheme of things, Kyle Rayner adopted a brand new costume in Green Lantern #150.

3. To signify his coming to tersm with his status as THE Flash, Wally West adopted a brand new costume (think the original costume only shinier, with his eyes covered) in Flash #50.

4. To signify his long-awaited debut as Batman's partner, and to show that he was a different person all together from his predecessors, Tim Drake debuted a new Robin costume in Batman #457.

5. To signify his coming to terms with his place in the DC hero world, out of the shadows of Batman, Dick Grayson debuted, in Tales of the New Titans #44, his new costume (and identity) as Nightwing.

6. To signify Thursday, Wasp debuted a brand new costume in Avengers #...too many to mention.

Let's hear some more!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Really Cool Comic Moment - Jordan Elliot's Wink

I, like most comic readers, am a fan of Alan Moore's classic story "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" that capped out the "pre-reboot" Superman era with a sweeping "final" story bringing all of Superman's plots to one grand conclusion.

The story really has a LOT of really cool moments, but since I had to narrow it down, I chose the ending, which had Superman "stripped" of his powers and married to Lois Lane as Jordan Elliot.

The wink was to the readers that Jordan was not fully ready to resign himself to the mild-mannered life, and might still have the powers to make that a reality.

A classic ending to a classic story.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cover Homage Game for 9/28

All What If...? Cover Homages!!


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Feel free to guess (although these are pretty simple...hehe)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Top Five Comic Minions!

Without minions, the hero would always fight super villains, and they run out quick!

5. Hydra agents

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Their very SLOGAN tells us that they are disposable!

4. AIM agents

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They are smarter than the Hydra agents, but they have to wear goofy helmets. That keeps them further down the list.

3. Acolytes

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This group of minions once had COLOSSUS on their team! WOW!

2. Doom-bots

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These guys are so awesome that sometimes, people don't even know that they ARE Doom-bots!

Talk about a great minion!

1. Parademons

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No one, though, can hold a candle to Jack Kirby's perfect minions - Darkseid's Parademons!!!

They are super tough AND they are basically mindless! What better minion can an evil guy have?

Anyone disagree?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday Challenge - Scarlet Witch vs. She-Hulk

If you placed the two Avengers on a team of all male, single superheroes...who would have the higher proportion of the team enamored with her?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Great Supporting Character - Frieda Goren

Frieda Goren was basically the Katharine Hepburn character in Static to Virgil "Static" Hawkins' Spencer Tracey.

Except they were teenagers and not romantically involved.

Otherwise, the connection is the same, as they have witty banter with each other while also being each other's shoulder to lean on during times of crisis.

Frieda did not always know that Virgil was Static, but really, hiding secrets has never been a big deal, as Frieda could obviously tell that Virgil was into her romantically, while she was secretly dating the better looking Larry (Virgil's cool friend).

Frieda was a white Jewish girl, while Virgil was an African-American non-Jewish boy, so that aspect of their relationship was also interesting, and the writers made good use of it at a time when the relationship between Jews and African-Americans in New York City were very sketchy.

But that aspect was minor, and paled to the fact that the two had such a nice, realistic banter going on while, at the same time, Frieda would help Virgil maintain a secret identity AND a semibalance of a normal life.

Man...Static was a great comic book.

Anyone watch the cartoon show at all? Is it any good?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Snark Blocker for 9/14

Today's Snark Blocker is Michael Parkinson's "Year One," which is a funny web comic about various Marvel characters as little kids.

Here are some samples (the comic is every weekday plus Sundays)

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Don't you feel the snark melting away?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 9/23

Today's theme is heroes getting together with reformed villainesses.

1. The most notable one has to be Batman and Catwoman, as she is famous enough to have her own movie, and he is, well, Batman. Their relationship is on sorta unsteady grounds, though.

2. Green Lantern (Alan Scott) ended up marrying the former villain Harlequinn, and I believe they are still married now.

Does Nightwing hanging out with Tarantula for a few weeks after she murdered Blockbuster and raped him count? I mean, he WAS willing to marry her apparently. That has got to count, right? Oh wait, she was not reformed...scratch that!

3. Captain America had a long relationship with the former thief, Diamondback.

4. Iron Man was really serious about Madame Masque, who was the head of the bloody MAGGIA!

Roy Harper was with Cheshire, but she never reformed...

Martian Manhunter was with Scorch, but I do not think she reformed, either.

5. Vision married Scarlet Witch, who used to be a criminal, and HE was even a bad guy at one point! Yay! A DOUBLE one!

6. Daredevil got together with the former villainess, Black Widow.

Any more that I am missing?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Really Cool Scenes - Guy Gardner Gets Sinestro's Ring

I was not a fan of Gerard Jones' take on Guy Gardner, for the most part. It often seemed that Jones liked to put Guy down to make Hal Jordan look better. He also seemed to have Guy lack some of the nuances other writers (specifically Giffen and DeMatteis) tried to sneak into Guy's background.

In any event, Jones did contribute one very memorable scene in Guy's history, when he had the mini-series Guy Gardner: Reborn, where Guy enlists Lobo's help to get Sinestro's ring (as Guy was no longer a Green Lantern).

Guy promises the ring TO Lobo in exchange for his help, but then double-crosses Lobo to get the ring for himself. However, the Guardians and John Stewart are trying to keep Guy from getting to the ring.

Meanwhile, Sinestro's spirit is also trying to take over John Stewart's body to get the ring for SINESTRO.

Finally, it comes down to Guy vs. Sinestro, in a battle of wills for the ring.

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Very cool scene showing Guy's determination.

Sinestro bats him around and mocks his incompetence, and Guy gets to deliver a neat speech - something along the lines of, "Yeah, Sinestro, I may not have the looks, or the talent, or the friends or (a bunch of other things I can't recall)....but I do have one thing....I got your ring."

And there's Guy - holding the ring triumphantly on his hand.

Guy then goes off to wipe the floor with the Qwardians who followed Lobo and Guy to Oa (previously, they had thought that the ring was with the Qwardians).

Good stuff...good stuff.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cover Homage Game for 9/21

ANOTHER Special All-Deadpool Edition!


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Feel free to guess (and yes, one of the homages is not to a comic cover, but a statue)!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Top Five Five-Themed Characters!!

This week's theme is Top Five comic characters with a "Five" theme!!

JUST missing the cut is Dan Jolley's Lazarus Five

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5. Tom Defalco's Fantastic Five from the Spider-Girl universe...

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The Fantastic Five is made up of the Thing, the Human Torch, Franklin Richards, Lyja and "Big Brain."

Big Brain, we learn, involved Sue Richards.

In any event, this comic was really for people who loved Defalco's Fantastic Four run, as pretty much every important aspect of Fantastic Five is derived from that run.

4. Fearsome Five

These dogged Titans foes have been around since the early 80s. Here is a drawing of the members of the team (there are more than five in the drawing because they have had different incarnations, with different five members).

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3. Inferior Five

E. Nelson Bridwell and Mike Sekowsky created this wacky team in the late 60s.

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The team was made up of Merry Man, Dumb Bunny, The Blimp, Awkwardman and the White Feather

2. Five Swell Guys

In a mild upset, Alan Moore's Five Swell Guys takes the #2 spot over the Inferior Five.

The Five Swell Guys are Kenneth, Marv, Roger, Bob, Stan (Roger is now in a woman's body).

They are the resident heroes of Promethea's hometown.

Here they are in battle with their arch-nemesis, the Painted Doll...

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Sadly, one of their own turned on them in the end, as it was revealed that Stan CREATED the Painted Doll!

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If he is guilty of anything, Brainiac Five is guilty of being the #1 Five-Themed Comic Character!

Anyone disagree?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Challenge - Who is Cooler, Vibe or Vibraxis?

Simple challenge this week....

Who is cooler?

Vibe of the Justice League of America?

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or Vibraxis of the Fantstic Force?

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Really Cool Scenes - Phoenix Sacrifices Itself

Now here is a moment that I think has been HELPED by a retcon!

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Most of us remember how cool it was when Phoenix decides to sacrifice herself for the good of the galaxy.

Classic scene.

However, with the retcons in place, we learn that the being destroyed on the moon that day was NOT Jean Grey, but the cosmic entity Phoenix POSING as Jean.

Which, to me, makes the scene COOLER.

We would all expect someone like Jean Grey to sacrifice herself for the good of others, but in this instance, a COSMIC ENTITY that is just COPYING Jean Grey was still SO moved by Jean's example that it sacrificed itself.

That, to me, is much cooler (and stronger) of an idea.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Great Supporting Characters - Frenchie

Frenchie's real name is Jean-Paul DuChamp, and he was a pilot who would work with the mercenary Marc Spector at the behest of Raoul Bushman.

After Spector became the Moon Knight, Frenchie became his partner in his mission, and also served as a best friend and confidant.

Mostly, though, he flew the Moon Jet and Moon Copter...hehe.

Still, through all the changes in Moon Knight's comic (and there have been a lot), it seems that the only constant is Frenchie.

Upcoming Moon Knight writer, Charlie Huston, when asked about Frenchie, replied, "You cannot do a proper Moon Knight story without Frenchie. Period."

I completely agree.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Snark Free Theme Day for 9/16

This one is spoileriffic, because today's theme is "Big Bad Revealing Itself As Someone Close to the Hero"

1. Just recently, in the pages of Captain America, the city of Philadelphia was bombed by what looks to be the return of Bucky!!

2. A vigilante is cutting a path through the Gotham underworld in recent Batman stories. Named the Red Hood, he is causing a problem for Batman AND the other criminales in town, until Batman comes face to face with him, and learns that it is Jason Todd!

3. Blue Beetle was recently investigating a conspiracy that was moving against every superhero in the world, and his investigation led him all the way to a castle, and the revelation that the big bad guy was Beetle's good friend, Maxwell Lord!! Lord then shot Beetle in the head when Beetle refused to join him.

4. Peter Parker was qutie distressed when he learned that his evil nemesis the Green Goblin was secretly Norman Osborn, father of Peter's best friend, Harry Osborn!

5. The Avengers were felled by the Masters of Evil once, only to find out that the leader of the Masters of Evil, and the man who betrayed them was Jarvis, their own butler!!! It later turned out, thankfully, that Jarvis was basically being manipulated by Ultron.

6. Awhile back, the Avengers found themselves on the run from the government. As it turned out, it was due to evidence planted against them by one of their own. The villain? Former member, Quicksilver!

7. Years later, the Avengers were once again betrayed by one of their own, as it was revealed that Avenger stalwart, Iron Man, was secretly being manipulated by Kang for years!

8. Years after THAT, it turned out that Avenger stalwart, Scarlet Witch, had gone nuts years earlier, and was using her powers to destroy the Avengers!!

9. Recently, the heroes of the DC Universe bound together to find out killed Sue Dibny, only to have it be revealed that the killer was none other than Jean Loring, the Atom's former wife!!!

That's it for me, but I am sure you all can think of some more!!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

David Hine Chat on Sunday!!

I am moderating a chat with David Hine at the Comic Book Resources Chat Room!

David writes Mutopia X and the Colossus mini-series. He is soon to be the writer on Son of M (spinning out of the House of M) and SPAWN!

It will be on Sunday, September 19th, at 3:00 PM PDT/6:00 PM EDT.

If you are already a member of CBR, then you just have to hit "Comic Chat," and then hit "vBChat Room Change" and choose to join the room marked "David Hine Chat."

If you are NOT already a member of CBR, you just have have to register, which is no big deal, as it's free. Just click here to register.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Cover Homage Game for 9/14

Special All-Deadpool Cover Edition!


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Hope to see some guesses!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Top Five Ghost Riders!!!

Today's Top Five is the Top Five Ghost Riders!!

5. Ghost Rider 2099

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This guy was fairly blank to me. All I know is that Chris Bachalo drew him early on, and Ashley Wood made his big debut drawing this title. Hence, the low ranking.

4. Dan Ketch

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Here is Dan Ketch, who helped bring Ghost Rider to a new level of popularity in the 90s!!

3. Vengeance

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In a MAJOR upset, Vengeance shows up higher than Dan Ketch! Vengeance just had more personality, I think. Dan always seemed a bit...bland to me.

2. Cowboy Ghost Rider

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In another major upset, the cowboy Ghost Rider shows up at #2!! He has the advantage of being the first Marvel Ghost Rider, and his origin is cooler. In addition, he was later used by Steve Englehart in a twisted way when he had him basically rape the Avenger Mockingbird, then haunt Hawkeye as a ghost just to get one final revenge upon Mockingbird!

In addition, how cool is it when you can actually get away with creating a character named Ghost Rider who looks just like a previous hero named Ghost Rider, from another comic company!!

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1. Johnny Blaze

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Simply put, Johnny Blaze is the man.

I am sure there are some disagreements out there! Let's hear them!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday Challenge - Which of these Wonder Man Costumes Is The Most...Unfortunate

First off, let me note that I got these pictures courtesy of my pal Mitchell's Wonder Man website, which is probably the most amazing site devoted to a lower tier character, like, EVER! Here is a link.

As for the costumes, well, Wonder Man has not had that great luck with costumes.

Which of these three do you think was he the MOST unlucky with?


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Remember to say why!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Cool Comic Fill-In - Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #53

This was a fun fill-in issue by Bill Mantlo and Jim Mooney, both of whom, at one point or another, were part of this title's regular creative team.

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The issuehas two many points to it.

The first is an extended sequence where Peter Parker has to go into action without his costume. There's a lot of good jokes involving people thinking that he is trying to kill himself when they see a guy in a suit jump out of a window. Also, amusingly enough, Peter's web mask well, he has to wait an hour for it to dissipate.

Funny stuff.

The second half was more of a way for Mantlo to reconcile the Tinkerer with some bad guys that Spider-Man had faced in Amazing Spider-Man (namely the Rocket Racer and the Big Wheel). Tinkerer was behind them both.

At the end, the Tinkerer shows great remorse when a robot he built is destroyed. It is weird scene, and Mantlo does a good job showing how it is weird for SPIDEY, too!!

Mooney's art was good.

Strong John Romita Jr. cover!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Fun Run for 9/10

Today's Fun Run is Tom Peyer's Hourman!

This run really defines the term "fun," as that was Peyer's main goal with this series, to have fun. And the character of Hourman, android from the future, really was not predisposed towards being a "fun" character, but Peyer decided to surround him with characters like Snapper Carr, who, in Peyer's title, was the definition of fun.

From that point, we had twenty-five issues of solid, wacky and weird stories, but always with an emotional anchor making sure that they were not TOO wacky.

We CARED about these characters, and when things happened to them, we were interested in how it worked out.

The art was by Rags Morales PRE-Michael Bair, but it was still good art.

Probably the most inspired piece in the series was the relationship between Snapper, his ex-wife Bethany, and Hourmans. You see, she did not fall for Hourman, the naive robot from the future who needs Snapper's help in learning about humanity. No, she falls for Hourman of the FUTURE - the same robot, but from a few years down the line, who is well-versed in humanity, and is no longer naive. He comes back in time to woo Bethany. How is THAT for intriguing? Of course, there is more to this future Hourman than meets the eye (as things often are).

It is all very much like a Christopher Priest comic...which means it was emotional, character-driven, complex, funny...and good.

I am sure you can get some issues at your local comic store still!

Friday, September 09, 2005

An Imagined Homage?

I was just looking at the cover of Pulse #11, as seen below...

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I had seen this cover a few times, and I had never realized that it was an homage of this cover...

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Weird, eh?

Anyone else ever see a cover that CLAIMS to be an homage (as the Pulse cover does, as Mayhew says "after Maguire"), but you wouldn't have noticed otherwise?

[ED. NOTE: Silly Blogger. This was supposed to be up on Friday]

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Really Cool Scenes - The New Frontier Slow Walk

For the whole Darwyn Cooke classic, New Frontier, we had been introduced to a variety of superheroes and good guys.

They were all SEPARATE, though.

Until this scene, in the last issue, where they all came together.

How cool is this scene?

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What a classic scene.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Cover Homage Game for 9/7

Today's theme is homages that...well....are a little more than just "homages"....hehe...


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I don't think y'all will need any guesses for these babies...hehe.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The RETURN of the Top Five List!!!

While Top Five List week ended last week, seeing as how I'm never one to turn down a good shtick, I am now returning Top Five List to Tuesdays! So if Ronald or the Seans want to do a Top Five List, feel free to do so on any Tuesday!

Today's Top Five List is....TOP FIVE MANHUNTERS!

The current Manhunter JUST missed the top five, as did the big robot folks...

5. Chase Lawler

Chase was the star of Steven Grant's post-Zero Hour series. It was a lot of rip-roaring good times, with lots of trippy bad guys and trippier Vince Giarrano art.

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4. Kirk DePaul

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Kirk was a mercenary who was a partner in the superhero organization The Power Company. He was a really cool character, one of the last remaining clones of Paul Kirk (see #2 on the list), as he was arrogant, but Kurt Busiek gave him enough charm that he was still a likable character.

3. Mark Shaw

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John Ostrander and Kim Yale took this cool character who was created by Jack Kirby and developed in the page of Steve Englehart's classic Justice League of America run, and did a lot of good with him as a mercenary who, well, hunts people down.

Very down to earth series. A lot of fun.

2. Paul Kirk

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This is the classic Jack Kirby Manhunter, who was updated and given a new purpose by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonsin in the backup pages of Detective Comics in the early 70s.

I command you - Read it and love it!

It is availale in trade.

1. J'onn J'onnz - the MARTIAN Manhunter!

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This guy was cool enough to be a member, and make sense as a member, in the original Justice League, the Detroit Justice League, the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League, Justice League Task Force, and Morrison's JLA.

He is a pretty darned impressive character.

So, do you all agree/disagree with my rankings?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Whose Labor Day Barbeque Would You Rather Attend? Doctor Doom or Kang?

Who do you think would have a cooler Labor Day BBQ?

Monday Musings, The Sixth

Ok, so I finally got all caught up on the past 3 weeks’ worth of comics. There’s been some really great stuff coming out. Unfortunately, I left my comics at my house, and am now at my apartment without access to them. However, I have an amazingly amazing memory. And thus, I shall use my godlike powers of recollection to talk about Ex Machina.

Written by the bodacious Brian K. Vaughan, Ex Machina follows Mitchell Hundred in his campaign for and then run of office as Mayor of New York City. The catch is that Hundred used to have a career as the superhero The Great Machine, with the power to talk with machines. A power he still has. One of the cool twists that Vaughan has thrown in is that using his powers, Hundred was able to stop one of the World Trade Center towers from collapsing. Just one example of the really clever ideas Vaughan has with this title.

The most recent arc just finished up last week, or possibly the week before. Mayor Hundred gets jury duty, while an impersonator of The Great Machine begins vigilante-ing around New York. Good stuff. We get to see some more of Hundred’s past, and the timeline continues to get closer to present day. I’m curious how Vaughan will play it once the book does catch up.

One of the greatest signs of Vaughan’s writing prowess comes from the evidence that even though I hate and despise politics with a passion, I absolutely love this book. I mean, come on, it’s about the Mayor of New York City. Sure he used to be a superhero, but he’s just the mayor now, and the political stuff plays a big part of the book. And yet, I don’t hate it. Amazing.

Cool Cover!

Now, isn't this a cool cover?

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There we have a first person view of of Carrion choking the life out of Spider-Man. I have no clue if they even interact in the issue, but the cover alone makes you want to check out the issue to see what happens. It's Spider-Man being choked to death! And the point of view is a great eye catcher. It makes it look like YOU are choking Spider-Man!Very cool!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Comic Classics - Mark's Remarks

I just found the coolest thing - a repository of Mark Gruenwald letter columns!!!

In case you do not know what it is, Mark's Remarks was a column that Mark Gruenwald ran in the letter pages of the books that he edited.

In the columns, Gruenwald would just talk comic books. Theories, writing advice, was basically like him rapping with the fans (just like Rap with Cap!..hehe).

It was a fine series, and after he quit editing books to become an Executive Editor, he kept the columns going in the pages of Marvel Age.

There are some really interesting topics in the columns.

But don't just take my word for it, look for yourself!!

is the link!

Mark's Remarks...a true comic classic.

Whatever happened to...?

(You know, I had an idea for another thing to do on Wednesday, and forgot it? So, back to my new Sunday posting. Yes, I am copying Cronin with having different updates for different days.)


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Yes, Kylun from Excalibur. I could include the entire "other" members of Excalibur who weren't part of the original team, but then what can I possibly do every week until Galactus comes and eats us all? Whoops, off on a tanget.

So, Kylun was a small boy who was taken into an alternate dimension, and grew to be a catlooking warrior. He was given swords that were mystically made to only cut through evil people, allowing him to mistakenly fight good guys and not cut off their arms. Would all of this be enough? No! Kylun also possessed the mutant ability to mimic any sound. He could pretend to be anyone or anything he heard. That power did end up being helpful when in the future he used it to pretend to be an operational sentinel. After watching Cerise leave the team, Kylun went back home to see his parents and disappeared until Brian Braddock and Meggan's wedding. He hasn't been seen since.

Now, maybe since he was a child when he disappeared, his parents forced Kylun to go back to school and finish his high school education. Or maybe he just decided to live with them and never be heard from again. This remains a mystery.

But, if anyone doubts why Kylun was cool and needs to be brought back, feast your eyes on this!

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Yes, he had his own action figure! You can't get cooler than that! Someone needs to bring Kylun back, now!