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 for a companion magazine, 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:

HEROES

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: Year One, The Killing Joke,The Wedding, Justice League: Origin
Movies:
 Batman ’89, Batman v SupermanThe LEGO Batman Movie, Justice LeagueJoker


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


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


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


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


VILLAINS

JOKER

Real Name: Jack Napier
Affiliation: The Legion of Doom
First Appearance: Batman #1 (March 1940)

Facing financial difficulties, former lab assistant aspiring comedian Jack Napier took a job with the Red Hood Gang and was set up to be their fall-guy. While committing a robbery at the Ace Chemical Plant, the Red Hood was confronted by the Batman. Knocked into a vat of chemicals, Jack emerged transformed – his skin bleached white, his hair dyed green and his mouth stuck in a horrifying grin. Finding his wife and unborn child dead, Jack fell into insanity. Taking on the identity of the mass-murdering Joker, this crazed clown criminal made it his mission to torment both Batman and Gotham City at every turn, due to his bizarre twisted love for the caped crusader. Having spent his life since then being put in, and subsequently breaking out of Arkham Asylum, Joker has become Batman’s most dangerous and unpredictable foe. With no limit to his seeming insanity and the dastardly plans it leads him to concoct, the Joker is one of the most dangerous people on the planet, with the paralyzation of Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), the murder of Jason Todd (the second Robin) and the corruption of Harleen Quinzel (the supervillain Harley Quinn) among his various victories.

Comics: Batman: The Killing Joke, The Wedding
Movies: BatmanThe LEGO Batman Movie, Suicide SquadJoker


CATWOMAN

Real Name: Selina Kyle
Affiliation: Gotham City Sirens
First Appearance: Batman #1 (March 1940)

The daughter of a notorious crime boss, Rex ‘The Lion’ Calabrese, Selena Calabrese was always tied to the criminal underworld despite her father abandoning her. Placed into foster care, Selena learned to fend for herself and began dabbling in criminal activities such as theft and prostitution. Inspired by an early meeting in the streets with a Bruce Wayne-in-training, and later by the appearance of the Batman, Selina began training herself, taking her thievery to the next level as the masked criminal Catwoman. However, from her continued encounters with the Batman, a romantic spark developed, and although still firmly entrenched in her criminal ways, Selina did start to occasionally fight by Batman’s side as a vigilante of sorts. Unable to stop thieving, but plagued with a good heart, Catwoman dances the line between hero and villain all the while struggling with the duty of being Batman’s one true love.

Comics: Batman: Year OneThe Wedding
Movies: N/A


DARKSEID

Real Name: Uxas
Affiliation: The New Gods
First Appearance: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970)

Uxas began his reign of tyranny by using his devious nature to sow seeds of discontent among the Old Gods, before stealing their powers one by one. With the Old Gods wiped out, and only he and his brother remaining, Uxas became one of the first of the New Gods. But while his brother created the paradise of New Genesis under the alias of Highfather, Uxas created the hellscape known as Apokolips. Here, he raised a vile and wretched race of beings, who teetered on the brink of war with Highfather’s own purer species. To hold off all out war, the two New God Lords traded their infant sons. As a result, Darkseid’s spawn grew up to be the great hero of New Genesis, Orion, while Highfather’s son lived a tortured life where he learned to be the master escape artist Mister Miracle. With his sights now turned away from the other Gods, Darkseid has since turned his attention to Earth and discovering the Anti-Life Equation

Comics: Final Crisis, Justice League: Origin
Movies: N/A

 

HEROES

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Real Name: Steven Grant Rogers
Affiliation: The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D.
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, Adapt or Die!Infinite AvengersTime Runs OutCivil 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: Avengers: Time Runs Out, Civil War, Fantastic Four: The Coming of Galactus, The Infinity Gauntlet, New Avengers: Everything DiesSecret Wars
Movies:
N/A


HULK

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Affiliation: The Avengers, The Defenders
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 Event, Adapt or Die!Time Runs Out, Infinity, The Infinity Gauntlet, New Avengers: A Perfect World, The Ultimates: Super-Human
Movies:
The Incredible Hulk, Avengers Assemble, Ragnarok, Infinity War, Endgame


SPIDER-MAN

Real Name: Peter Benjamin Parker
Affiliation: The Avengers, The Fantastic Four
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 WorldTime Runs Out, Civil War, The Infinity GauntletSecret Wars, 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 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, Adapt or Die!, Infinite AvengersTime Runs Out, 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, S.H.I.E.L.D.
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, Adapt or Die!, Infinite AvengersTime Runs Out, Civil War, InfinityIron Man: Extremis, New Avengers: Everything Dies, Other WorldsA Perfect World, The Ultimates: Super-Human
Movies: 
Iron ManIron Man 2Avengers AssembleCivil WarHomecomingInfinity War, Endgame.


DOCTOR STRANGE

Real Name: Stephen Vincent Strange
Affiliation: The Defenders, The Avengers
First Appearance: Strange Tales #110 (July 1963)

Once one of the most preeminent surgeons on the planet, Doctor Stephen Strange lived a life of luxury; one afforded to him by cherry-picking only the richest clients to bestow his healing talents upon. However, his life was forever changed when the egotistical doctor was caught in a devastating car crash that completely ruined his hands. Now unable to perform surgery, Strange began desperately searching for a way to restore himself to his former glory, and his search leads him to a great mystic called the Ancient One. This Sorcerer Supreme refuses to heal Strange’s hands but does offer to teach him the mystic arts instead. Strange reluctantly accepts after learning the Ancient One’s other pupil, Baron Mordo, plans to kill his master and curses Strange not to reveal his treachery. Driven by this surprisingly altruistic desire to stop Mordo, Strange grows to become one of the wisest and most powerful sorcerers on the planet. Returning to the United States, Strange took up residence in his Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village, where, along with his loyal friend and personal assistant Wong, he protects reality from the insanity of monsters and demons such as Dormammu, Nightmare and Shuma-Gorath

Comics: Avengers: Time Runs OutInfinity, The Infinity Gauntlet, New Avengers: Everything DiesOther WorldsA Perfect WorldSecret Wars
Movies: Doctor StrangeRagnarokInfinity WarEndgame


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 EventAdapt or Die!Infinite AvengersTime Runs OutCivil 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, S.H.I.E.L.D.
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, Infinite Avengers, Time Runs Out, 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, S.H.I.E.L.D.
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 EventInfinite Avengers, Time Runs OutHawkeye: My Life As A Weapon, Infinity
Movies: ThorAvengers AssembleCivil War, Endgame


THE INHUMANS

Ruling Members: Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton & Lockjaw
Base of Operations: Attilan
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #45 (December 1965)

Created millions of years ago by the scientists of the Kree Empire, the Inhumans were an experiment that grew to be so much more. Initially intended to unlock the problems with the Kree’s own evolutionary stagnation, these early humans were transformed into genetically superior Inhumans, who were granted powers by exposure to a mist secreted from Terrigen Crystals. For years, the Inhumans thrived in their own hidden society – the base of their power being the Inhuman City of Attilan. But after being discovered by the explorers known as the Fantastic Four, the Inhumans begun to take their place amongst the superhuman community, lead by their silent king, Black Bolt, whose voice could destroy all around him, his prehensile haired queen Medusa, Medusa’s element manipulating sister Crystal, the martial artist Karnak, the amphibious Triton, the hoofed Gorgon and their teleporting dog Lockjaw. Over the years, their race has faced threats from both inside their insular society, such as Black Bolt’s mischievous brother Maximus, and out, such as when the Mad Titan Thanos attacked their city, forcing Black Bolt to unleash the Terrigen mists across the Earth, allowing countless new Inhumans to rise up and leading his family into a new age of Inhumanity

Comics: Avengers: Time Runs OutInfinityNew AvengersOther Worlds
Movies: N/A


BLACK PANTHER

Real Name: T’Challa 
Affiliation: The Avengers, The Fantastic Four
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: Avengers: Time Runs Out, Civil War, Infinity, New Avengers: Everything Dies, Other WorldsA Perfect WorldSecret Wars
Movies: Civil War, Black Panther, Infinity War, Endgame


CAPTAIN MARVEL

Real Name: Carol Susan Jane Danvers
Affiliation: The Avengers, Alpha Flight
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, Adapt or Die!Time Runs Out, Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight, Civil War, InfinitySecret Wars
Movies: 
Captain Marvel, Endgame


BLADE

Real Name: Eric Brooks
Affiliation: MI-13, The Avengers
First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973)

Born in 1929 London during a tumultuous birth, Eric Brooks’ destiny was forcibly changed when his mother was bitten by a vampire named Deacon Frost during his delivery. This resulted in Brooks becoming half-vampire; gaining all of the dark creatures strengths, yet possessing none of their weaknesses, bar a hunger for blood. Overcome with hatred for the creatures who stole his mother from him, Brooks began training to become a vampire-hunter, tutored by a man named Jamal Afari. Eventually, Brooks departed from London and began hunting vampires across the globe, before eventually settling in the United States. Armed to the teeth with swords, stakes, guns and various other weapons, Brooks became infamous amongst the monster community for his brutal efficiency. Over the years, Blade has left few adversaries alive but does have some recurring foes in the form of Morbius and the lord of vampires himself, Dracula. One of the most experienced specialists on the planet, whenever vampires threaten the human world, heroes know there’s only one man to call: the daywalker, Blade.

Comics: Blade: Undead Again
Movies: N/A


THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Founding Members: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, Quasar
Base of Operations: 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: Avengers: Time Runs Out, Guardians of the GalaxyInfinitySecret Wars
Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Infinity War, Endgame


VILLAINS

NAMOR, THE SUB-MARINER

Real Name: Namor McKenzie
Affiliation: The Defenders
First Appearance: Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939)

One of the first modern-day superheroes, Namor was the son of lost American explorer Leonard McKenzie and the Atlantean Princess Fen, born in 1915. After his father was cast out of Atlantis, Namor was raised in the lost underwater city as the future prince, and grew wary of the surface-dwellers. Some decades later, Namor’s wariness drew him to the surface when Nazis threatened the safety of Atlantis, forcing him to join forces with other heroes such as Captain America, Bucky and the original Human Torch to form the Invaders, and help win World War II. However, Namor’s time on the surface was tumultuous, and after the war, he became a derelict amnesiac, squatting in New York until he was discovered by the new Human Torch of the Fantastic Four, and returned to the water, restoring him to his true self. Blessed with a mixture of Atlantean physiology and mutant powers that allowed him to live underwater, fly and demonstrate superhuman strength, Namor has since been both an ally to the surface world, as well as an enemy; stepping in whenever the Earth is in danger, but otherwise spending his time protecting his homeland against any and all who may threaten it. 

Comics: Avengers: Time Runs OutNew Avengers: Everything Dies, Other Worlds, A Perfect World, InfinitySecret Wars
Movies: N/A


THE KINGPIN

Real Name: Wilson Grant Fisk
Affiliation: N/A
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967)

Starting out in life as a poor, obese child, Wilson Fisk was always destined for a life of crime. Teaching himself to fight and building muscle mass on top of his already sizeable physique to fight back against his bullies, Fisk soon found himself in a job as a bodyguard. From there, he was employed by the crime-lord Don Rigoletto and used his cunning and incredible strength to rise through the ranks. Through his criminal enterprises, Fisk developed a sizeable wealth, which he put into legitimate businesses, allowing him to have a public persona alongside his secret dealings as the up-and-coming Kingpin of Crime. With his wife Vanessa Mariana at his side, Kingpin slowly took over all of New York, dominating the underworld and the public sector alike. His crimes would bring him into conflict with superheroes such as Spider-Man and Daredevil, but due to his many connections, any charges levelled against him rarely stick.

Comics: Daredevil: Born Again
Movies: N/A


THANOS, THE MAD TITAN

Real Name: Thanos
Affiliation: The Black Order
First Appearance: The Invincible Iron Man #55 (February 1973)

Born into the Eternals, Thanos was one of a race of Godlike beings that hailed from Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. However, unlike his godlike seeming brethren, Thanos was born with a deviant gene, giving him a look so monstrous that his own mother was driven insane at the sight of him. Alienated from his people, Thanos gave himself to the pursuit of knowledge and power, sharing his findings and psychopathic tendencies only with a mysterious young girl he had befriended. In time, Thanos would learn that that girl was the embodiment of Death, and became enamoured with Death’s personification, devoting his extreme acts of violence to her, in the hopes that one day she would return his affections. Destroying the society from whence he came, Thanos has since set out into the stars in pursuit of artefacts like the Infinity Gauntlet and the Cosmic Cube, enacting slaughter on a universal scale all to please his one true love. Now known as the Mad Titan, Thanos is feared by every being in the cosmos that know his name and is considered one of the most dangerous beings in existence.

Comics: Avengers: Time Runs OutNew Avengers: Other Worlds, The Infinity Gauntlet, InfinitySecret Wars
Movies: 
Avengers AssembleInfinity War, Endgame