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New to Comics

New to Comics

was a university project of mine during my Master’s Degree. At first, it was just a basic website that I had to maintain to get my grade. Then, for my final project, I started improving it and wrote out a business plan, which earned me a distinction.

After I graduated, I made a couple of attempts to keep New to Comics alive as its own site, but now I’ve realised it would make more sense just to fold it into Geek Space.

The intention of New to Comics is to review, and explain the background behind, various comic books in a new-reader friendly way. Each ‘review’ has a character profile, some background information on the comic, a rundown of the plot, as well as a review.

You can find the various characters and stories I’ve looked at so far below:

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SUPERMAN

Real Name: Kal-El
Affiliation:
 The Justice League
First Appearance: Action Comics #1 (April 1938)

Born on the planet Krypton, ‘Clark Kent’ was sent to the planet Earth by his father, Jor-El, who feared their home planet’s destruction, but in their hubris, his peers would not listen to his warnings. Crash-landing on Earth, Clark was found by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who instilled in Clark strong beliefs in ‘Truth, Justice and the American Way’. Under the Earth’s yellow sun, Clark developed miraculous powers (strength, speed, invulnerability, flight, enhanced senses, ‘heat-vision’) which he used to combat injustice from the likes of vile businessman Lex Luthor and other criminals around the globe. Wanting to stay close to the action, in his civilian identity, Clark took a job at the Daily Planet, where he used his knack for writing to report on his adventures as Superman, and met his wife and the mother of his child, Lois Lane.

Comics: All-Star SupermanJustice League: Origin
Movies: Man of SteelBatman v SupermanJustice League


BATMAN

Real Name: Bruce Thomas Wayne
Affiliation: 
The Justice League
First Appearance: 
Detective Comics #27 (March 1939)

As a child, Bruce Wayne wanted for nothing – the son of some of the wealthiest and most respected people in Gotham City, Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce was, in essence, heir to the throne of Gotham. But all that changed when Bruce’s parents were gunned down in front of him, instilling in him a deep hatred for criminals that would hang over his entire life. Committing himself to become skilled in multiple disciplines such as combat and detective work, Bruce used the wealth and resources of the company he inherited from his father to become the vigilante known as the Batman. A figure of fear, Bruce now wages a war against crime with his trusty Batmobile and high-tech armoury of weapons, assisted by his loyal butler and father-figure Alfred, police commissioner Jim Gordon and his extended ‘Bat-family’ of sidekicks like Robin.

Comics: Batman: The Wedding, Justice League: Origin
Movies: 
Batman v SupermanThe LEGO Batman Movie, Justice League


SHAZAM!

Real Name: William Batson
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940)

After being orphaned at a young age, Billy Batson moved from foster home to foster home, becoming more and more standoffish with each transition. Growing into a combatant young teen with little in the way of family bar Tawny the Tiger at the local zoo who featured in his earliest memory, Billy found himself welcomed into the loving Vasquez family – home to five other foster children (Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro and Darla). At first, Billy’s combative nature made it hard for him to fit in, but after a fateful encounter with the wizard ‘Shazam’, Billy was gifted the powers of the Champion of Magic; able to transform into a superpowered adult version of himself (possessing the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury). Learning to control these powers alongside his new family, Billy found peace, purpose and a sense of belonging. Now, as a member of the Justice League and protector of magic, Billy operates as the ‘World’s Mightiest Mortal’, Shazam!

Comics: Shazam: Origins
Movies: Shazam!


WONDER WOMAN

Real Name: Diana
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: All-Star Comics #8 (October 1941)

12000 BC – during the time of the Olympians – the Greek Goddesses collected the souls of all women who had died at the hands of men and reincarnated them as a fierce race of warriors. Many years later, on the hidden paradise island of Themyscira, Queen Hippolyta longed for a daughter. Sculpting a baby out of clay and praying to her Goddess, Hippolyta was gifted with a new daughter – Diana – the most powerful of the Amazons. But after a man named Steve Trevor crashed in paradise, Diana took on the role of Wonder Woman to escort Trevor back home and adventure through the world of man. Since then, she has become one of Earth’s most revered heroes and has since discovered her true origins – not those of a mythic baby born from clay, but as the daughter of the all-powerful Zeus, God of the Sky and Lord of Olympus.

Comics: Justice League: OriginWonder Woman: Blood
Movies: 
Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman, Justice League


GREEN ARROW

Real Name: Oliver Jonas Queen
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)

As a child, Oliver Queen was fascinated by the exploits of the character Robin Hood and practised archery in the hopes of emulating his hero. Growing up to become a rich and reckless playboy, Oliver’s knack for archery came in handy when he found himself lost at sea and subsequently stranded on a desert island, with only his bow at hand. After a few years, Oliver had learnt to become self-reliant and not take things for granted as he used to; honing his archery skills to become a skilled hunter. Eventually returning to the western world, Oliver was a changed man, dabbling in politics, and using his skills to become the masked vigilante known as the Green Arrow. Very conscious of the man he used to be, the Green Arrow reinvented himself as an outspoken champion of social injustice, fighting crime alongside his partner Black Canary.

Comics: Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters
Movies: 
N/A


AQUAMAN

Real Name: Orin
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)

As the son of Lighthousekeeper Tom Curry and Atlanna, the former Queen of Atlantis, Orin was the son of two worlds. Named ‘Arthur Curry’ by his father, the young man soon discovered his secret heritage brought with it a host of abilities; such as being able to breathe underwater, demonstrate incredible strength and even communicate with fish. Mentored in the use of his powers by another Atlantean outcast named Vulko, Arthur grew to be a powerful young man and was eventually able to return to his destined home of Atlantis and confront Atlanna’s other son, and his half-brother, Orm, in a challenge for the throne. As King of Atlantis, Arthur hopes to one day unite the underwater kingdoms and the surface world, even if it means occasionally leaving his post as ruler.

Comics: Justice League: Origin
Movies:
Justice League, Aquaman


THE FLASH

Real Name: Bartholomew Henry Allen
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Showcase #4 (October 1956)

Young Barry Allen’s life was thrown into upheaval when his mother was murdered and his father, Henry Allen, was arrested for the crime. The slow, laid-back man became determined to exonerate his father, and Barry spent years working towards becoming a Forensic Scientist, often working late nights and falling behind to the chagrin of his reporter girlfriend Iris West. But it was one of those late nights that changed Barry forever, as a bolt of lightning burst through his laboratory window, dousing Barry in chemicals. From that moment on, Barry was linked to the ‘Speed Force’, extradimensional energy that allowed him to move at super-human speeds. Driven by that same sense of justice that leads him to try and prove his father’s innocence, Barry resolved to use his powers for good – becoming the Flash; the fastest man alive!

Comics: The Flash: Rebirth, Justice League: Origin
Movies:
Justice League


GREEN LANTERN

Real Name: Harold Jordan
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Showcase #22 (October 1959)

Based from the center of the universe, a group of alien beings known as the Guardians began dedicating themselves to creating an orderly universe, designing the ‘power rings’ – the most powerful weapons in the universe, and bestowing them upon chosen corpsmen to create an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps, known for their ability to overcome great fear.
Hal Jordan, a former test-pilot, became the first human to ever join the ranks of the Corps after he discovered the dying Abin Sur – former protector of space sector 2814. Now, Jordan patrols the space-ways – his power ring able to create anything that his imagination can conjure. After a stint of being possessed by an evil, universal force, Jordan has returned to the light and his place as the greatest Green Lantern in all creation.

Comics: Green Lantern: Rebirth, Justice League: Origin
Movies:
N/A


CYBORG

Real Name: Victor Stone
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980)

Victor Stone was a High School football star who grew to resent his scientist father Silas Stone for prioritising his work over his son’s future sports career. However, when Victor was caught in a terrible accident, he became Silas’ new obsession, as Silas used experimental technology to save his dying son’s life. Now part-man, part-machine, the young Cyborg tried to push past his pain and his hatred of his father, standing alongside his fellow super-humans to use his new powers for good. Now amongst others who could truly understand him, Victor rose up the ranks of the superhero community, becoming a respected figure and an important member of the Justice League. As their technology specialist, Vic can summon portals using Apokoliptian technology to transport the League wherever they are needed.

Comics: Justice League: Origin
Movies:
Justice League

 

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CAPTAIN AMERICA

Real Name: Steven Grant Rogers
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)

As it became obvious America was destined to join the war that had consumed the world in the late 1930s, Steve Rogers became determined to do his part for the war effort. Continuously rejected due to his sickly stature, Steve was eventually found by Dr. Abraham Erskine, and enlisted into the army under ‘Project: Rebirth’. Injected with a serum of Erskine’s own design, Steve was transformed into a super-soldier; his body and mind enhanced to the peak of human potential. But tragedy struck, as Erskine was assassinated, leaving Steve the first and only in the proposed wave of super-soldiers. Fighting on the front lines as Captain America alongside his sidekick Bucky Barnes, Steve was eventually lost at sea, and frozen for several decades.
Eventually awakening in the modern era, Captain America returned to the spotlight as a symbol of hope and American power; his new mission – to protect both America and the world, from any and all threats as the leader of the Mighty Avengers!

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Civil War, Daredevil: Born Again, Infinity, The Infinity Gauntlet, New Avengers: Everything Dies, The Ultimates: Super-Human
Movies: 
The First Avenger, Avengers Assemble, The Winter SoldierCivil War, Infinity War, Endgame


THE FANTASTIC FOUR

Founding Members: Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, The Thing
Base of Operations: New York City
First Appearance: The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)

Determined to explore the unknown, scientist Reed Richards took his girlfriend Susan Storm, his best friend Ben Grimm and Sue’s kid brother Johnny Storm on a trip in his experimental shuttle to explore the stars! However, on their maiden voyage, the group was struck with cosmic rays and plummeted to Earth forever changed. Reed’s body gained incredible elasticity, Susan could cast force-fields and turn invisible, Johnny could throw fire and set himself aflame, while Ben was transformed into a rock-hided, monstrous ‘Thing’. Though Ben’s new form initially created some animosity amongst the old friends, the four decided to band together as the Fantastic Four; the ‘first family’ of superheroes. While the team would devote themselves to saving lives from the likes of Reed’s rival Doctor Doom and alien threats such as the Skrulls, they also strive to explore the wonders of the universe, paving the way for a better tomorrow through their scientific discoveries. In time, Reed and Susan would marry and have children, making the Fantastic Four the beginning of the most fantastical family around!

Comics: Civil War, Fantastic Four: The Coming of Galactus, The Infinity Gauntlet, New Avengers: Everything Dies
Movies:
N/A


THE HULK

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)

Dr. Robert Bruce Banner was one of the world’s foremost experts on nuclear physics, and his vast knowledge and prowess in his field taking him into the employ of the United States military, in the hopes he would gain funding for his other, more humanitarian projects, in turn. There, Banner was stationed under Airforce General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, who had him work on an experimental Gamma Bomb. During this time, Bruce met and fell in love with Ross’ daughter, Betty Ross, starting a relationship that would endure despite Bruce’s dark future.
When the day came about to test his new bomb, Banner was horrified to see a young man, Rick Jones, had broken onto the testing grounds. Sacrificing himself to save Rick, Banner rushed onto the grounds and pushed Rick into cover, but was caught in the explosion. His cells irradiated by the Gamma radiation, Bruce was cursed with a monstrous, dim-witted alter-ego with God-like strength; becoming an anti-hero of sorts, ‘the strongest one there is’… the ‘Incredible’ Hulk!

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, The Last White EventInfinity, The Infinity Gauntlet, The Ultimates: Super-Human
Movies:
The Incredible Hulk, Avengers Assemble, Ragnarok, Infinity War, Endgame


SPIDER-MAN

Real Name: Peter Benjamin Parker
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)

A teenage science prodigy bit by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker initially used his powers (strength, speed, agility, wall-crawling and an intuitive ‘spider-sense’) as a showman. However, after he neglected his responsibility to stop a criminal, that same criminal killed his Uncle Ben, teaching Peter that he must always use his powers for the good of others. Juggling adventures with caring for his elderly Aunt May, an on-again, off-again relationship with Mary-Jane Watson and trying to hold down a job, Peter strives to take his bad luck in stride to become one of the most prolific heroes in New York, using his years of experience, self-made gadgets and spectacular abilities as the amazing Spider-Man! Although a horde of villains and hard times plague him at every turn, Peter refuses to give up his web-swinging ways, in the hopes that he can honour his Uncle and live up to the mantra that “With great power, there must also come great responsibility”. 

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, Civil War, The Infinity Gauntlet, Ultimate Spider-Man: Power & Responsibility
Movies:
Civil War, Homecoming, Infinity War, Endgame, Far From Home
Video-Games: Spider-Man


THOR

Real Name: Thor Odinson
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Journey Into Mystery #83 (August 1962)

Before Captain AmericaSpider-Man, or the Fantastic Four – the world had a different type of hero, the mighty Thor! Son of the almighty All-Father Odin and sworn enemy of his own half-brother, Loki, Thor – the Norse ‘God of Thunder’ – hailed from the Golden City of Asgard, and would often come to Earth seeking adventure and glorious combat. But when his arrogance proved too much, Thor was stripped of his power and his enchanted Uru hammer Mjölnir and cast down to Earth under the mortal guise of the handicapped doctor, Donald Blake. There, he was forced to learn humility, which he did so with the help of his love Jane Foster, and in turn, reclaimed his Godhood and thunder-casting weapon, becoming one of the greatest and most powerful heroes in the universe.

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Infinity, The Infinity GauntletThorThe Ultimates: Super-Human
Movies:
 ThorAvengers AssembleThe Dark WorldRagnarok, Infinity War, Endgame


IRON MAN

Real Name: Anthony Edward Stark
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)

Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist. Former weapons designer Tony Stark often found himself at the centre of all heated conflicts across the globe, providing munitions to the military and more covert organisations like S.H.I.E.L.D., alike. But when that heat proved too extreme, and Stark was mortally wounded and kidnapped by terrorists, he teamed with fellow captive Dr. Ho Yinsen and used his genius to build himself a suit of armour that would keep him alive, and allow him to escape captivity. Returning to the western world a changed man, Tony Stark, aided by his butler Jarvis, his assistant Pepper Potts and his chauffeur Happy Hogan, started continually upgrading his armour, forgoing his former bloody path as an arms dealer, instead hoping to make the world a better place as the invincible Iron Man.

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Civil War, InfinityIron Man: Extremis, New Avengers: Everything Dies, The Ultimates: Super-Human
Movies: 
Iron ManIron Man 2Avengers AssembleCivil WarHomecomingInfinity War, Endgame.


THE AVENGERS

Founding Members: Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk
Base of Operations: New York City
First Appearance: The Avengers #1 (September 1963)

In a ploy to defeat his brother, the trickster God Loki hoped to pit Thor against the rampaging behemoth known as the Hulk. However, the two heroes, assisted by Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, instead banded together to defeat Loki and in doing so, formed the Avengers. Funded by the billionaire alter-ego of Iron Man, Tony Stark, and based out of his New York City mansion, the Avengers are ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ and the world’s premiere super-team. With close ties to the likes of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Fantastic Four, and the majority of the Earth’s heroes, the Avengers have time and again stood up to threats that are terrestrial (such as Ultron), extraterrestrial (such as Thanos), and even foes from out of time (Kang the Conqueror). Their unity was cemented after the recovery of the long lost World War II super-soldier Captain America, but the Captain would be only the first in a long line of superheroes to join the team, with their roster ever-growing and always prepared to defend the Earth when the call is put out – “Avengers, Assemble!”

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, The Last White EventCivil War, InfinityThe Infinity Gauntlet, The Ultimates: Super-Human
Movies: Avengers AssembleCivil WarInfinity WarEndgame


DAREDEVIL

Real Name: Mathew Michael Murdock
Affiliation: 
The Defenders
First Appearance: 
Daredevil #1 (April 1964)

Even in the early years, Matt Murdock was on the path to becoming an upstanding member of society. His father, Jonathan Murdock – a boxer – was adamant that Matt wouldn’t follow in his footsteps, and pushed him towards a better job, forcing Matthew to study as hard as he could so he could transcend their lowly lifestyle. However, after saving a blind man from a careening truck full of radioactive waste, Matt himself was blinded will his other senses grew exponentially. This was the start of a long list of tragedies in Matt’s life, as his father was later murdered for refusing to throw a fight. Now alone, Matt strove to commemorate Jonathan by becoming a lawyer, while also honing his fighting skills under the tutelage of another blind warrior named Stick. Becoming the masked vigilante known as Daredevil, Matt would fight for justice in the courts by day, while avenging those who the system failed at night.

Comics: Daredevil: Born Again
Movies:
N/A


BLACK WIDOW

Real Name: Natalia Alianovna Romanova 
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #52 (April 1964)

In the early 1900s, the young Natasha Romanoff was taken to a covert operation called the ‘Red Room’. Here, the young girl would spend her childhood being brainwashed by the KGB, and trained to become a merciless killer by Russian operatives like the Winter Soldier. In this ‘Red Room’, Natasha had her biology enhanced, making her stronger and faster than the average human, while also extending her lifespan. Graduating from the ‘Red Room’ as one of their top agents, Natasha joined the KGB and was later assigned to infiltrate and bring down Stark Industries, which of course led her to clash with the American superhero Iron Man. Black Widow’s continued clashes with Iron Man would lead her to team up with a partner in crime; an archer named Hawkeye – whose love would lead her to fight off her brainwashing, and defect to the U.S.A. There, she was hired by Nick Fury as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., forging romantic entanglements with heroes such as Iron Man and Daredevil, as well as long-lasting friendships with heroes such as Captain America and Wolverine. However, for all her good intentions, her dark past his never far behind. 

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Black Widow: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted, Infinity
Movies: Iron Man 2Avengers AssembleWinter SoldierCivil WarInfinity War, Endgame


HAWKEYE

Real Name: Clinton Francis Barton
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #57 (September 1964)

After the death of their parents, Clint Barton and his brother Barney Barton ran away from their new foster home to experience a happier life by joining a travelling circus. There, Clint apprenticed under two ‘acts’ known as the Swordsman and Trick Shot. After discovering both men to be criminals, Clint also fell into a life of crime as Trick Shot’s brief partner, and later became the new partner of Black Widow. After clashing with Iron Man numerous times, Clint hoped to turn over a new leaf, and defected to the Avengers, confessing his crimes and asking for redemption. Armed with numerous trick arrows, unmatched skill in archery and a rebellious and determined nature, Clint became the stalwart Avenger Hawkeye. In later years, he would form strong bonds with his teammates, experience a doomed marriage to Mockingbird, and become a mentor figure to the younger Hawkeye, Kate Bishop.

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, The Last White EventHawkeye: My Life As A Weapon, Infinity
Movies: ThorAvengers AssembleCivil War, Endgame


BLACK PANTHER

Real Name: T’Challa 
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966)
Hidden away in Africa lies the isolationist nation of Wakanda. Kissed by a meteor filled with Vibranium, Wakanda became the only source for the valuable, durable metal, and used this gift to become one of the most technologically advanced nations on Earth. At their head sits their King, the Black Panther, and after the murder of the reigning King T’Chaka by the outsider Ulysses Klaw, that mantle was passed down to his son and heir, T’Challa. Having consumed the heart-shaped herb, T’Challa is forever linked to the Panther Goddess Bast who grants him a superhuman physique. Now, as the Black Panther, T’Challa is usually prepared for any threat. His resources vast and his Kingdom nigh-impenetrable, T’Challa has always harboured a strong distrust for those from the outside world, but after a chance encounter with the Fantastic Four, the Black Panther has made efforts to open both himself and his nation up to the world, revealing their hidden glory and becoming one of the most popular superheroes on the planet. 

Comics: Civil War, Infinity, New Avengers: Everything Dies
Movies: Civil War, Black Panther, Infinity War, Endgame


CAPTAIN MARVEL

Real Name: Carol Susan Jane Danvers
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968)

A headstrong go-getter from a young age, Carol Danvers always dreamed of flying among the stars. Her drive compelled her to advance quickly, and despite the men around her putting her down, she went on to become a successful Air Force pilot, before transferring to work in Intelligence. After she accepted a promotion to Head of Security at NASA she became deeply immersed in the adventures of the alien Kree hero Captain Mar-Vell. During one of Mar-Vell’s battles with his nemesis Yon-Rogg, Carol was caught in the blast of an exploding ‘Kree Wishing Machine’ called the Psyche-Magnatron, which imbued her with explosive energy manipulating powers. With these new powers, she became Ms. Marvel, a powerhouse hero whose refusal to ever back down has taken her down a rough path that has brought her into conflict her fellow superheroes (such as Iron Man in the second Superhuman ‘Civil War’, and the X-Men), alcoholism and identity crises. But after becoming the new Captain Marvel, she takes it all in stride as she hopes to prove herself as ‘Earth’s Mightiest Hero’. 

Comics: Avengers: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight, Civil War, Infinity
Movies: 
Captain Marvel, Endgame


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Founding Members: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, Quasar
Base of Opperations: Knowhere Space-Station 
First Appearance: Annihilation: Conquest #6 (April 2008)

In the wake of a universe-wide attack by the cosmic despot known as Annihilus, former Avengers foe and the robotic creation of Hank Pym, Ultron, stepped up to make his move. With the universe in chaos and the intergalactic police force known as the Nova Corp destroyed, the safety of the Galaxy was left in the hands of a band of criminals, led by the washed-up space-faring hero Peter Quill, better known as Star-Lord. He and his team of criminals managed to prevail against the robotic would-be conqueror, and in the wake of his attempted takeover, Quill decided to round up a band of ‘heroes’ to make sure a similar fate could never befall the galaxy again. But instead of heroes, Quill found himself united with the daughter of Thanos and deadliest woman in the Galaxy, Gamora, the brutish ‘destroyer’ Drax, trigger-happy mercenary Rocket Raccoon, a sapling of the monstrous Groot, the enigmatic spell-caster Adam Warlock, and the reluctant ‘protector of the Universe’ and daughter of the original Captain Marvel, Quasar. Though their number would change as the years went by, this crew of scoundrels time and again find themselves at the centre of intergalactic disasters, struggling to hold back the tide – at least, when they’re not up to no good.

Comics: Guardians of the GalaxyInfinity
Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Infinity War, Endgame

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