Tuesday, November 5, 2013
It's New Comic Book Day!!!!
Wednesdays from here on out I will be introducing a not-so well known comic book characters!! Normally, I will do one character a week. But, today we are going to do three!! Nightcrawler from Marvel, Huntress from DC and Lady Mechanika by Aspen MLT.
I chose Nightcrawler first because he is my husband's very favorite character. That makes this a great opportunity to get his to guest blog!
His real name being Kurt Wagner, son of Mystique and Azazel (later revealed to be Marvel’s version of the devil). During his birth, Mystique accidentally revealed her true form to the local towns folk who thus branded them as monsters and ran them out of town. During their escape, Mystique passed out and baby Kurt was left to float down the river later to be found by his foster mother, a gypsy fortune teller working for a circus troop.
Kurt grew up living the circus performer life, becoming the star attraction as a freak and well renouned acrobat. As he grew older, the ringmaster of the circus decided to sell Kurt mainly due to a dropping of attendance. Kurt was no longer the draw he was before. It was also during this time that we start to see a correlation between Kurt’s proximity to magic and a loss of sanity. Several times during his timeline, this correlation is further defined.
Before Kurt could be sold to another circus, he was helped to escape to live as a free man. in his escape, a torch was accidentally knocked over and the circus burned to the ground. Kurt being the sole blame for the fire, he is once again chased by an angry mob and learns of his power of teleportation. He finds himself seeking sanctuary in a catholic church where the resident priest thus taught him to embrace his humanity. The mob which had chased Kurt from the circus tracks him down at the church where it too is subsequently burned down in the scuffle. Before the mob could kill Kurt and the priest, Charles Xavier steps in and and helps them escape their pursuers by convincing them that they both died in the fire.
Years after his assumed death, Kurt finds himself yet again with the same circus that he had once fled from. By this time, it had been bought by a Texas millionaire and he then insisted that Kurt be part of the freak show. Appalled at this, Kurt then quit the circus and left for Germany to reunite with his foster brother. He then finds out that this same foster brother had gone mad and had started killing local children. Kurt fought with his adopted sibling in order to stop his rampage, but in the ensuing battle he broke his brother’s neck. The local townsfolk thus blamed Kurt for the killings, and he once again finds himself fleeing from an angry mob due to his being seen as a demon.
Charles Xavier once again helps Kurt escape his pursuers and is thus recruited as a member of the X-Men. Before heading back to America, Kurt wanted to explain to his adopted sister the reason for her brother’s death to which she still blamed him for. During his stint with the X-Men, he befriended Wolverine and Colossus who in turn helped Kurt become less self conscious and the need to hide his true appearance from the world. It was also during this time that he also helped form the british-based, mutant group Excalibur.
He took leave of the team several times in a failed attempt to enter the priesthood as well as to mourn for Colossus. Also, in an attempt to reconcile with the people of his hometown in Germany who dedicated a museum in his honor, was tossed into a battle with a mutated teenager who had been cursed by a gypsy. Reliving his mistreatment at the hands of the locals during the tracking and ensuing and battle, Nightcrawler helped defend the teen from the mob. Unable to save the boy from his fate, Kurt returned back to America and the X-Men where he later sacrificed himself to save Scott and Jean Summer’s daughter Hope.
Devastated by Kurt’s death, Wolverine and the X-Men, cremated his body and with a eulogy held in the mutant stronghold of Utopia. Nightcrawler’s spirit later makes a return inside the mind of Wolverine, helping to restore Logan’s mind and body from hell.
So some of you have seen the Huntress on Arrow. But, that version is a deviation from the original story in the comics. And, if we know anything about comic books it's that they change story lines. It is one of my favorite things about them. A lot. Barbara Gordon went from being shot and paralyzed in a wheel chair while we endure Cassandra and Stephanie Brown at Batgirl and then Poof! Just kidding she recovered with the new 52 line.
Originally, Helena Wayne was the daughter of Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman and Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman. In some of the story lines she carries over her mothers meta-human gene (think the mutants in X-Men.) I am not sure if it is on Netflix. But, we bought it on DVD. I loved it. She exists as Helena Wayne on Earth Two. Yes, in the DC Universe, there are more than one Earth. They guys at DC find ways to make things work they want to. Marvel people don't really like that. Arrow follows Huntress as Helena Betinelli. She is the daughter of a the murdered mob family.
In both worlds, she is a complete bad ass. She drives a motorcycle, excels in hand to hand combat and has never met a weapon she didn't excel in. Her weapon of choice is a hand held crossbow. If you took the Punisher and crossed him Elektra you pretty much have Huntress She has no qualms about killing people when it needs to be done. This is a continuing problem between she and Batman.
There is a fun television series that came out for one short season called Birds of Prey. It is based on a group of characters that the Huntress works within. There are several different variations on the group. She was even Robin at one time!
In general, when a comic book is made by a publisher that is not DC or Marvel, it is considered to be an Independent. And, there are a lot of them out there. Aspen is one of my favorites. The do a lot of Steampunk books. If you don't know what Steampunk is, take a moment and follow this link. No, it's OK. really. We'll wait. Steampunk. They even do some issues that are just pin-ups.
My favorite title is Lady Mechanika. OK, before you consider hopping over to your local comic book store, you might want to bring plenty of cash and a box of cupcakes. There were only a handful of issues written. And, they aren't easy to get your hands on. We are still waiting on issue 4. The artist had medical issues that has prevented any further issues from being released. (I was lucky enough to get a copy of a limited edition Emerald City Comic Con cover autographed by the author and the artist for Valentine's Day last year.) Our main character was found with mechanical prosthesis in place of her missing limbs. Picture a Victorian, Android Catwoman. She is in search of the person that did this to her. She does not know whether she was saved or used. But, either way, she is searching for answers. She is also well known in the world she lives in. There is a young girl that she meets that is insistent that she is not the real Lady M. Anyone that enjoys the world Victorian world of Steampunk will enjoy this title. If you don't believe me, as Moore Organized Mayhem. She went as her for ComicCon. Check out her costume!
Yes, my husband wrote a lot more than I did. He wrote the section on Nightcrawler. He is awesome. He has his own blog that I wish he would right on more often. The Reluctant Knight Crawler It is a difference in Marvel and DC. They tend to have much more intricate back stories. But, in for someone new to comics, DC seems to be easier to follow if you don't have much back history in the characters. If you want a crash course in the DC Universe, check out "The Blackest Night" storyline. You quite literally meet every character in the series, live or dead. Next week, per my son's request we meet NIGHT WING!