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Guardians Of The Galaxy: The Animated Series, Pt. 1

       Hello there, and welcome to my Fantasy! Today I'll be taking an extra-special look at what COULD be Marvel's greatest venture into Animation for a mature audience, I give you..."Guardians Of The Galaxy: The Animated Series", a super-detailed mock-up of what a cartoon series based off of Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning's current "Guardians" book might look like. I haven't quite finished the entire season yet, so for now look at Part One, featuring an All-Star voice cast! PLEASE COMMENT!!! THANKS FOR READING!!!
PLOT: Still reeling from the aftermath of The Annihilation War, the most horrific battle the Universe has ever seen, a most-unusual squad of misfits must band together to face unknown evils - Led by the battle-hardened yet sarcastic Peter Quill AKA The Star-Lord, they are "The Most Dangerous Woman in The Universe" Gamora, "The Celestial Madonna" Mantis, Drax The Destroyer, "Protector of The Universe" Quasar, the mysterious Adam Warlock, "The Tree-Lord of Planet X" King Groot, and of course Rocket Raccoon...who needs no further explanation. Headquartered on the space-station known as Knowhere, which was built inside the remains of a dead Space God's skull, they are joined by Cosmo, the telepathic Russian canine who acts as Knowhere's Chief of Security. Keeping the Galaxy safe has never been so...Strange.


STAR-LORD AKA PETER QUILL - Nathan Fillion ("Firefly", "Serenity", "Wonder Woman")

GAMORA - Tricia Helfer ("Battlestar Galactica", "Green Lantern: First Flight")

MANTIS - Kristen Kruek ("Smallville")

DRAX THE DESTROYER - Vin Diesel ("Pitch Black", "The Iron Giant")

QUASAR AKA PHYLA-VELL - Kiera Knightly ("Pirates of The Caribbean")

ADAM WARLOCK - Clive Owen ("Sin City", "Children of Men")

KING GROOT - Leonard Nimoy ("Star Trek")

ROCKET RACCOON - John Di Maggio ("Futurama")

COSMO THE DOG - Robbie Coltrane ("Goldeneye", "Harry Potter")


1.) "Road To Knowhere Pt. 1" - The Guardians set-up shop on Knowhere, the space-station at the Edge of The Universe. Before Cosmo can finish showing the team around, alarms begin sounding: The Universal Church of Truth is attacking! The UCOT, a group of devout religious-fanatics that aim to either convert or kill, have ventured just outside Knowhere, attacking a supply-barge; apparently the drivers didn't want to turn their shipment over in the name of The Lord. As one team of Guardians springs into action to fight-off the invading fanatics, the team of Cosmo, Rocket, and Groot must survive each other's company. Meanwhile, Mantis begins having visions of a mysterious man trapped within an icy tomb...Along with his star-spangled shield.

2.) "Road To Knowhere Pt. 2" - The fight against The UCOT finds The Guardians seeking cover on the surface of a large asteroid, where they discover what appears to be a castle frozen in ice. Meanwhile, Mantis freaks-out back on Knowhere, claiming massive Temporal Disturbances across the entire Galaxy while the uneasy team-up of Cosmo, Rocket, and Groot must keep the peace at the space-station. Back on the asteroid, a stray laser-blast strikes a glacier causing it to rapidly melt, and just as the sinister Church-goers have The Guardians cornered, a familiar red, white, and blue shield cuts through the air, striking each of the fanatics down with precision. The Guardians turn to see a man garbed in blue-and-white, staggering as he says, "My name is Vance Astro - Major Victory of the 31st Century. WHEN AM I?!"

MAJOR VICTORY AKA VANCE ASTRO - Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville", "Justice League Unlimited")

3.) "Road To Knowhere Pt. 3" - Returning to Knowhere with Vance Astro in-tow, The Guardians discover that a portion of Astro's home in the future, the 31st Century, was frozen in time and phased into the past, as is the case with multiple happenings across the Universe, as Mantis has determined; The Annihilation War was so devastating, it ripped holes in the Fabric of Space-Time Reality. Should they not be able to close the holes, the Universe would collapse into itself, obviously ending all life everywhere. Having re-grouped and come back for revenge, The Universal Chuch of Truth mounts a full-assault on Knowhere, which thanks to Astro's help, they fight-off. As the team stand united with their new member, we see within The Chuch's base of operations, where their Matriarch hovers over what looks like a cocoon, pulsating with energy. "Soon, my Lord...soon you will RISE!"

4.) "Going Nova" - Star-Lord assists Richard Rider, the space-cop known as Nova, transport a group of especially-dangerous Annihilation War-Criminals to the prison planet known as The Kyln; they're interrupted by Ravenous and his Seekers, out to settle old scores and retrieve their bretheren. Back on Knowhere, the rest of The Guardians focus on sealing a time-hole, when they're suddenly attacked by the mysterious Star-Hawk! Recognizing him as a teammate from his same timeline, Major Victory tries to reason with Star-Hawk, but only succeeds in angering him further. Nova and Star-Lord fight-off The Seekers with a wounded Ravenous vowing to destroy everything they hold dear, leaving the duo finish transporting the prisoners. Star-Hawk is eventually overpowered, and held captive until Peter gets there to question him. Once he's been debriefed, Star-Lord enters the interrogation room to find now a WOMAN?!

NOVA AKA RICHARD RIDER - Matthew Fox ("Lost")

RAVENOUS - Kevin Michael Richardson ("Batman: The Brave & The Bold", "The Spectacular Spider-Man")

STAR-HAWK AKA STAKAAR & ALEETA - Kevin Conroy ("Batman: The Animated Series"), Lucy Lawless ("Xena: Warrior Princess")

5.) "Tales Of Hawks And Warlocks" - Face-to-face with Star-Hawk, who is for some reason now a striking blond woman, Peter Quill tries to get some answers. While the other Guardians eagerly await them, Adam Warlock shares his bizarre story with Quasar, who is in desperate need of a friend. Star-Hawk reveals that like Vance Astro, he/she's stuck phased in their time, but that's not the worst of it: Alternate Realities are begining to merge as well, which is why sometimes Star-Hawk appears as a man, sometimes a woman, and others both at once. When questioned about the attack, he/she claims they were trying to eliminate all "temporal oddities", such as Astro, in an attempt to repair the timeline before it was too late. Admitting to being crazed by the whole experience, they offered to help The Guardians now that he/she has calmed-down. After a vote of confidance from Major Victory, who also volunteers to take full responsibility for them, Star-Hawk is allowed on the team. Phyla and Adam grow closer, now sharing in their loss of a loved one: Heather Douglas, The Moondragon, who died during The Annihilation War. Drax overhears their discussion about his fallen Daughter, he reveals as Moondragon, and asks the duo if they'd like to help find his reluctantly-adopted companion who disappeared following the War: Cammi, the 10-year-old girl from Earth that followed Drax into space.


6.) "O Cammi, Where Art Thou? Pt. 1" - Venturing outside Knowhere (without permission) to find Cammi, the team of Drax, Quasar, and Adam Warlock board a shuttle to the last known whereabouts of the girl: Godthab Omega, a neutral Haven where Gamora claimed to have had dropped her off. Upon arrival, the team soon begin to notice something odd about the planet; despite it's neutral status, Godthab Omega was not without skirmishes, especially at the Pubs. But now it was totally harmonius, and completely peaceful...Too peaceful. Back at Knowhere, Star-Lord tries not to worry about the missing Guardians while he and the others repair a hole in space-time. Major Victory and Star-Hawk discuss their time together with the 31st Century-version of The Guardians, coming to an agreement that while it isn't historically correct for there to be a GotG in the modern time, perhaps now it's this team that will someday inspire THEM; a conundrum in time to be certain, but one that may actually work-out for the best. Returning to Godthab Omega, Adam Warlock uses a spell to reveal the source of the residents' happiness: Someone else had used their own source of magic to brainwash them. Just then, a powerful force knocks them down, screaming at the trio for trying to interfere: A glowing, golden man calling himself Glorian, Shaper of Worlds! Glorian claims to have the ability to alter Reality itself, and only wishes to bring peace to the Cosmos...By force, if necessary. Godthab Omega serves as the beginning, the example set by Glorian for the rest if the Universe to fall in line, or else. When Warlock calls him on his madness, Glorian decides to toy with them and sends a few mind-controlled soldiers to attack: Talos The Untamed, Stellaris The Celestial-Killer, and Devos The Devastator!

GLORIAN THE SHAPER OF WORLDS - James Callis ("Battlestar Galactica")

TALOS THE UNTAMED - Edward James Olmos ("Battlestar Galactica")

STELLARIS - Katie Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica")

DEVOS THE DEVASTATOR - Michael Hogan ("Battlestar Galactica")

7.) "O Cammi, Where Art Thou? Pt. 2" - The battle for Godthab Omega begins as Warlock, Drax, and Quasar take-on Devos, Talos, and Stellaris, with Glorian watching every move! The chaos threatens to consume the planet, prompting Warlock to demand Glorian put a stop to it. Challenging him to a duel of magic, Adam keeps the Shaper of Worlds busy while the others fight for their lives; against Drax's wishes, Quasar calls Gamora for help. Meanwhile, Rocket Raccoon and Cosmo play a very tense game of poker aboard Knowhere, The Guardians largely trying to catch their breath. Gamora receives Quasar's distress-call, however, and assembles the others to help. Godthab Omega is now a full-fledged Warzone as Glorian's control on the populace weakens and they begin to panic; Adam Warlock and Glorian battle to a stand-still, while Drax and Quasar do their best to subdue the three mind-warped Warriors. Soon, the rest of The Guardians join them, more than evening the odds. Gamora goes to Warlock's rescue, disrupting Glorian's focus and allowing Adam to seize control and win the day. Before he can thank her, Gamora shoves Adam aside, commenting that there was a time he "...Didn't need saving", and that he wasn't the man she used to know. At all. Quasar apologizes to Drax for calling the team, as now they're expected to return to Knowhere and put-off Cammi's search for another time; all The Destroyer can go is glare, and walk away angry. As The Guardians take their leave of Godthab Omega, a young girl appears from the shadows, with a female pixie on her shoulder that says, "Skreet woulda clobbed 'em good, they try takin' Cammi away! Skreet would!" Cammi giggles, then replies, "I'm sure you would've Skreet, but someone ELSE would probably have something to say about it, too...Right?" And then behind her, a towering behemoth of a man stands, putting his hand on Cammi's other shoulder. "Indeed", his voice booms, "The Destroyer abandoned you, child. You belong to THANOS, now".

CAMMI - Ellen Page ("X-Men 3", "Juno")

SKREET THE CHAOS MITE - Lori Petty ("Tank Girl", "A League of Their Own")

THANOS THE MAD TITAN - Keith David ("Gargoyles", "Halo 3")

8.) "Contest Of Heralds" - Tensions rise aboard Knowhere as Star-Lord lectures the Godthab Omega trio about their hasty decision; he cites a responsibility to The Guardians, something they didn't even keep-up for a week before abandoning their post. Drax counters with his responsibility to Cammi, something he can no-longer ignore and says he'll continue using Knowhere's resources until he finds her. Before the argument can continue, Mantis alerts the team to a distress call: Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, has set his sights on a nearby planet full of intelligent life! Springing into action The Guardians scramble to see if they can make a difference, but as they arrive, The Guardians meet not one but four Heralds Of Galactus, commanding The Devourer's attention. Apparently, Stardust had led Galactus to this planet full of life, whereas The Silver Surfer would have tried finding one uninhabited. Away on an errand, Surfer was unable to return to his Master in time, so it was up to Stardust to search-out worlds to consume, and he could care less about other's lives. Terrax The Tamer arrived upon the scene to slay Stardust, hoping to take his place once again as Galactus' Herald. Surfer, in an attempt to persuade Galactus to another, lifeless planet has returned as well alongside The Firelord, just in case Stardust wants to get out of line. Hungry and tired of the bickering, Galactus demands the Heralds battle each other, the last man standing will remain as Galactus' one, true Herald. And so Terrax and Stardust square-off, as do Silver Surfer and Firelord; The Tamer overpowers the rookie Stardust, while Surfer defeats his friend Firelord in an excellent fight. Down to the wire, the remaining Heralds collide, Surfer eventually prevailing over a weakened but persistant Terrax. Galactus names The Silver Surfer his sole Herald, immediately demanding he lead him to worlds, but not before reminding him he now has no time for a life outside his duties; The Surfer belongs to Galactus, for he hungers more than ever since the Annihilation War. Witnessing the sacrifices Surfer made for the greater-good first-hand, Drax admits his responsibility as a Guardian, and Peter promises him they'll look for Cammi as soon as the Galaxy stops falling to pieces. Elsewhere, a cocoon begins to open...

GALACTUS - George Takei ("Star Trek", "Heroes")

STARDUST - Zachary Quinto ("Heroes", "Star Trek")

SILVER SURFER - Doug Jones ("Hellboy II: The Golden Army")

TERRAX THE TAMER - Michael Ironside ("Starship Troopers", "Total Recall")

THE FIRELORD - Peter Cullin ("The Transformers")

9.) "Negative Feelings" - Opening with a flashback to Peter Quill's more innocent days as the space-soaring Superhero, Star-Lord, we see the costumed adventurer rescuing an alien Princess from a band of space-pirates. Just as Star-Lord has the Princess in his embrace and is about to accept his reward, the firey skull of Annihilus consumes them, their flesh melting-away from their bones! Peter awakens from his nightmare to find Mantis hovering next to his bed, and all she says is, "There is trouble". Having discovered a space-time hole that breaches into the Negative Zone, The Guardians mobilize to seal it before possibly kick-starting another War. When they arrive at the tear, The Guardians find an attempted invasion led by Blastaar, held at bay by Kl'rt The Super-Skrull and his mate, Praxagora the star-powered living android! The Negative Zone Army threatens to overwhelm the heroes, as Blastaar's taunting of Peter begins to affect The Guardian's leader; he's reminded of those many, many people that perished during the Annihilation War, a great number of whom directly because of Peter Quill when he failed them. Gamora slaps the sense back into Peter, at least enough to where he can navigate the shuttle, but he's obviously still bothered. Super-Skrull and Praxagora get captured once Ravenous joins-up with Blastaar, so Rocket and Groot take it upon themselves to save them! Against all-odds, the gun-toting Raccoon and grumpy Ruler of Planet X free Kl'rt, who systematically destroys a small Army in his rage forcing Blastaar and Ravenous to flee, rescues Praxagora, and the unlikely quartet make their way to The Guardians' shuttle. Retreating back into the Negative Zone, Blastaar and his forces declare the War is not over, far from it, and their Lord Annihilus will live again! In a rare moment of gratitude, Super-Skrull relates the story of when, during the War, Annihilus destroyed his home planet where his only son Sarnogg was living, due in large part to his own failures. Kl'rt goes on to say that while guilt will always be felt over the deaths, it also must be used to fuel his fire, to drive him towards redemption and completing his mission: Guarding the Galaxy. Somewhere in the Universe, within The Universel Church of Truth's home base, something emerges from the cocoon, bringing The Matriarch to her knees in awe; "My Lord...!" she says, speechless. "Fear not," a mysterious voice returns, "The Magus has RISEN!!!"

KL'RT THE SUPER-SKRULL - Michael Clark Duncan ("Daredevil", "The Green Mile")

PRAXAGORA - Rosario Dawson ("Sin City", "Clerks 2")

BLASTAAR - Clancy Brown ("Superman: The Animated Series", "The Shawshank Redemption")

THE MAGUS - Alan Rickman ("Dogma", "Harry Potter")


What else?

"Empire" by Mark Waid & Barry Kitson absolutely MUST become either a feature film, or one of DC's amazing animated movies. 
The story is too good to remain as obscure as it is, and hopefully someday DC Entertainment's people will realize that.

NAME MY SUPER-TEAM: The First-Ever RaptorFrat-Party Contest!

YO!!! As you know, my name is RaptorFratBoy and I love comic books. But did you know I created them, as well? Well now you do! 
Anyhoo, the point of this is that while I came-up with a brand-new, awesome space-themed Super-Team for my own special little Universe, I'm stuck to come-up with a great name for them. To help things out, here's a brief explanation of what exactly is going on...
Veni Vidi Vicci is basically a cross between Dr. Doom, Apocalypse, and Baron Mordo, and he's decided to take-over the World. Without any Superheroes, well, he does this rather easily, thanks to his genetically and magically-created Army code-named The Unlimited. Also, there are mutants in my Universe, but they're so new none of them have decided to be Superheroes yet, they pretty much have to immediately decide to either be good or evil, or die on the spot. Anyway, before the War for Earth can completely spill into America, a scientist grabs his lab-assistant, best friend, and a mechanic friend with an adopted daughter, and get the hell off-planet in an experimental space shuttle the scientist invented.  Not having an exact destination, the team Cryogenically-freeze themselves, with the shuttle programed to seek-out a planet containing intelligent life and awaken the team when it does so. However, the shuttle is struck by an unknown source, and crash-lands on Mars.
I know, I know...other than the part about Mars, this probably sounds like "Age of Apocalypse" or "Empire" mixed with the origin of The Fantastic Four, and you'd be pretty-much correct because AoA is what inspire my Universe in the first place. But, continue on for the rest of the plot...
PLOT: A team of astronauts jettisoned themselves into space to avoid Veni Vidi Vicci's conquering of Earth, crash-landed on Mars, badly wounding them all. Emerging from a hidden cavern underneath the ground, several Martian scientists came to their rescue, rebuilding them with whatever crude technology they could find from both their own reserves, and what could be salvaged from the astronauts' shuttle. The Martians hide the truth of what has happened on their planet, as the squad of scientists are the sole surviving members of their race, hidden from the savage beasts that roam above, as well as a terrifying secret. The astronauts agree to help the Martians re-establish control of the surface in thanks for their rescue, however they soon find-out that's not such an easy task: The rest of Mars' population has been turned into flesh-eating zombies by the scientists, an accident that occured when a flu vaccine mutated...or at least, that's the story they're going with.

Roptix - Clara Hendrickson: Mars crash-landing blinded her; scientists replaced her eyes with crude robotic tech that enable to her to see, but are a constant source of pain unless she fires deadly, steel-melting beams of heat from her corneas, a side-effect from the cosmic radiation the shuttle was hit with. Naturally, she does a lot of target-practicing. Clara is battle-hardened, and places the safety of her adopted daughter Katie Sherman above all-else; she also serves as the team's mechanic.

Frankentelligent - Arthur Von Drakes: The crash completely destroyed Arthur's arms and legs; the Martians replace his arms with those from two Martian criminals who had donated their bodies to science (so the scientists claim), and his legs with mechanical ones harvested from a primative Sentry Droid. Being the group's organizer from the beginning, Von Drakes becomes the team's field leader almost by default, his genius-level intellect also coming in handy. Early-on, he's bitten by one of the Martian zombies on one of his arms, but as the arm isn't directly connected to the rest of his body, only the one limb becomes infected. Every so often, though, usually during bouts of extreme anger or frustration, the zombie-virus will override the cyber-programming in Von Drakes' body, forcing a need to consume the flesh of the living before the virus completely takes control. The infected arm has the tendency to act on it's own at times of rest, the virus being so powerful it can sense living things outside the host, making the arm a bit grabby.

Neon Comet - Katie Sherman: As an infant she was orphaned when Unlimited Soldiers killed her parents, and she was rescued and adopted by Clara Hendrickson who witnessed it. When the shuttle crashed, Katie's Cryo-Chamber was the only one that didn't open and so her body was physically fine. However the Chamber absorbed a bombardment of cosmic radiation from Mars' atmosphere, which combined with the Cryogenic chemicals sealed Katie's body, transforming her into a living statue. The scientists pur her into a special incubator that used multiple combinations of radiation-treatments and heat that eventually allowed Katie to break her frozen shell. When fully recovered she had become a being of pure energy, now able to absorb, generate, and control all types of radiation, as well as fly at amazing speeds. At the age of twelve, Katie has come to grips with her new life remarkably well, and was the one responsible for assigning "Superhero Names" to the group, who rarely personally use them.

King Crab - "King" Louis Claymore: The shuttle crash left Claymore badly needing a blood-transfusion, with nobody else onboard sharing the same blood-type. The Martians did what they could, using the blood from a native animal whose DNA closely resembled that of humans, and mixing it with nanobots programmed to fill-in the genetic code. The side-effect was that Louis mutated into a hybrid, his entire genetic structure now shared with the Martian beast; his skin was now plated with reddish armored scales, spines grew from his arms, neck and back, his eyes glowed yellow, and his teeth were now fangs. Due to his previous nickname of "King" and his new appearance, Katie Sherman code-named him King Crab; to complete the package, Claymore had the Martian scientists fashion him two massive, mechanical claws constructed from spare shuttle-parts.

Chain-Smoker - Desmond Wright: Caught in the worst of the fires within the shuttle, Demond's entire body was severely burned, with almost total nerve-damage. Refusing to die, he was able to hold-on long enough for the Martians to rig a makeshift robotic body to download his mind into, a skill using ancient Martian magiks and virtual reality. Being a young man already rather annoyed with life, this dramatic new twist did little to change Demond's gruff disposition on things. His robot body was soon enhanced with super-strong hydraulics and bodyarmor, as well as an on-board weapons system comprised of various items of death. Katie names him Chain-Smoker, thanks to his somehow still finding time to smoke cigarettes despite no-longer possibly needing to, and his chainmail-like chestplate.

6-6-Sixteen - Chapel Goodwynn: A teenage girl stowed-away aboard the astronauts' shuttle, barely managing to seal herself in a Cryo-Chamber in time as the team were already sleeping. Unfortunately, Chapel hadn't been injected with the pre-sleep formula; a chemical necessary to help prepare the body for Cryo-Sleep. The effects of the cosmic-radiation on her body after the crash was far-different than the team of astronauts, as her skin was totally melted away and replaced by a sheath of jet-black anti-matter. Anything Goodwynn attempted to make contact with instantly exploded, as she quickly found-out upon awakening and in a panic, detonated one of the Martian scientists who tried to help her up. Further going mad at the sight of aliens, the wreckage surrounding her, and the general carnage of the scene, Chapel instinctively phased between-dimensions, thanks to her anti-matter skin, and found herself in her own, private pocket in-between realities. However, due to her crazed state of mind, the girl thought she had died and gone to Hell, her powers meaing she was a wraith and the aliens were, to her, demons. Goodwynn remained hidden within the pocket, no longer needing to breathe, eat, or sleep, vowing not to return. But over time she began getting bored, testing the extent of her powers; Chapel was now able to project her anti-matter energy into deadly beams of darkness, as well as cut small holes back into her home dimension, enabling her to steal materials. This particular power is very limited, and she needs to rest for a few hours between each venture; being completely back in the pocket-dimension recharges her, this is why her new body phased her there when in a state of shock. Her mind more focused but still quite insane, Chapel decided it was time to face-up to the demons, thinking if she over-powered them and proved herself strong, perhaps it would indeed be better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven if this was her fate. By the time she re-phases completely back on Mars, the team of astronauts are neck-deep in Martian zombies, but the battle litterally screeches to a hault at Chapel's appearance. Pausing only for a moment, Goodwynn unleashes her full-fury at the zombies, the more obvious-looking demons, wiping them out almost instantly. Quickly noticing the new look of the astronauts wasn't much more Angelic, Chapel turned on them, but thankfully the team was prepared and avoided her attack. Wisely attacking all at once, the team was able to knock Goodwynn away long enough to escape, knowing full-well they weren't ready for the fight. After safely returning to base, Katie Sherman nicknamed their new adversary 6-6-Sixteen, fitting considering she's one Hellish Teenager. With a brand-new vow to erradicate the "demonic" astronauts, Chapel Goodwynn returned to her pocket-hideout she constructed of the stolen materials, laying-in-wait for the next moment to strike.
OK, so...Now what do you think? Pretty neat, or total garbage? At any rate, I still can't think of a cool name. Of course, the theme is Katie Sherman names everyone/thing, so the name would probably be something along the lines of the individuals'...Silver-Agey, I guess is the proper term. 
This is an actual, honest-to-Bob contest with a prize and everything, if the winner chooses to trust a completely (non-dangerous/violent) crazy person with their mailing address. I'm trying to get an upstart Web Comic Company up-and-running within the next couple years, and this will be one of the Flagship strips! HELP ME NAME MY SPACE-THEMED SUPER-TEAM!!! YOU WILL WIN...
The winning name will receive a QUALITY Marvel, DC, Image, or "Other" comic, you choose the Company, I pick the book. But I promise it'll be good and not a "Marvel Tales" reprint feature or anything like that. SO GET TO NAMING!!! The contest will end Wednesday, September 15th, as that's when I plan on drawing this doozy up and presenting it to a collaborator. THANKS AHEAD OF TIME!!!


25 Things Off The Top Of My Head...

1.) I wouldn't kill-off anyone due to personal feelings; that's just a horribly selfish thing to do as obviously the characters that are around have fans of their own. 
2.) Darkhawk, however, would be re-built into a solid, stand-alone character and given a real shot at success again. Chris Powell deserves your support!
3.) "Marvel Knights" would be re-branded as the hottest, most high-concept grounds for new, upcoming comic book talent to ply their trade, but in the "T+"-graded arena. Remember when Daredevil, Black Panther, and The Inhumans were featured as that very same kind of comic? Me, too. I'd love to see a return to importance to "Marvel Knights"...
4.) I would undo "Brand New Day", but in a way that's respectful to the fans of the storyline, but also returns Peter Parker to Mary Jane, the way it's just supposed to be. If fans just outright hate a married superhero, perhaps they'll give Darkhawk a try (I'm kidding...sort of...)! Something alone the lines of Peter figures-out what he did, has to do something for Mephisto to get out of it or whatever, and at the end of it we've got everything great the BND-verse has given us, only now Peter has been married all along. His time spent in the apartment he's in now can be explained as Peter and MJ maybe being separated for a spell (see what I did there?), possibly a fight over Peter's thought of revealing his I.D. during "Civil War". And yeah, I suppose we'd have to keep the "Magic erased people's memory" gimmick to keep his identity a secret again, but a world where Mastermind can wipe the exsistence of The Sentry from people's memories, this is fine. This way, both sides of the Brand New Fence are at least mostly happy, and this leaves yet more openings for "Wait...maybe this villain DIDN'T lose his memory somehow!"-type stories, etc. 
5.) I would hold weekly, open conference calls (for fans that are screened previously in case they're idiots) focussing on one character at a time, week-after-week. The forum would be open to discuss what they love, hate, etc. about the character, what they'd like to see changed and what they'd like to stay the same. I would compile the suggestions, and hold online polls (which would be heavily advertized) the following week to see if they indeed hold water. Majority rules, and the changes are applied to the character in question to see if this helps the popularity. This process would of course mainly apply to characters that are struggling to find an audience, so you know...they can find one. 
6.) Enough with the nonsense...Clint Barton becomes Hawkeye, beating the ever-loving crap out of Bullseye and taking his mask back. When Kate Bishop confronts him about this, since he already have his approval to use the name, he says "You can use it all you want, but if we're ever in a team-up you're called Swordstress or something. Now get over it". 
7.) "Nextwave" finds a home. I don't care if it sells three copies a month, the damn book gets published if I have to hold Ellis' family hostage to see it happen. Period. 
8.) "Marvel Comics Presents Ultimate Comics The Comic Book" or whateverthehell they're calling it today, indeed gets a very REAL ultimatum: Decide what you want to do with yourself, or don't bother showing-up for work tomorrow. If Bendis & Co. truly care about their little continuity-free experiment, they need to pay attention to it and not allow the Universe to outgrow itself before Loebicron has to eat the planet again. Should they decide the 616 Marvel is where their entire focus should be, *Shrugs* Like I said, if the kids don't like a married superhero, hopefully they'll just try a different one. If a particular character just has too complicated a back-story for you to wrap your mind around, pick a new flavor to try. The Ultimate Universe was fun while it lasted, but I truly feel it's a wonderful way to cannabalize your own book-output. They can accomplish all of these alternative ideas in other places, such as...
9.) "What if...?" would return as a monthly book, possibly with mini-storylines if there's a concept that warrants one. Basically, they would mesh the old "What if...?" single-issue formula with the "Elseworlds" style. It's too good an idea to just do once a year, especially when ALL of the new yearlies end depressingly. THAT has to change, too!
10.) "WHAT THE?!" returns as well! I'd hire-out to comedians/comic geeks like Patton Oswalt and Brian Posein to do stories, probably making this into a bi-yearly book. These would be all-out, anything-goes books in the MAX line featuring all your favorite Marvel Superheroes in the strangest, comedic ways possible. 
11.) Jeph Loeb has his place, this I understand; his books sell too damn well for him not to. However, his place is NOT in the 616 Marvel Universe, not ever. Should Bendis and the others decide the Ultimate U isn't where they need to be anymore, I'd give it to Loeb to do with as he pleases, ensuring boatloads of cash and no silly Rulks I'd have to worry about finding a place for. If the opposite happens, he can have recurring roles in "What if...?", or even something like "X-Men Forever" where he just does whatever he pleases, only it MAKES money. And on that note...
12.) Claremont, I'm sorry...but I'm doing this for your own good, before you damage your tenure even more: *Mr. McMahon voice* YYYYYOOOOOOUUUURRRRR FFFFFIIIIIIIRRRRRREEEEDDDD!!!!!...There, don't we all feel better? Excellent. I'm sure DC would love your brand of Entertainment, Chris. Go ask...
13.) Solo characters get ONE ONGOING BOOK, period, within the 616 Universe. Should a character be popular enough, a mini-series here and there would be plenty, as would a double-sized issue once in awhile. I've argued for it because at the moment it's warranted but ultimately a bad idea, but giving a character THREE ongoing monthlies, especially one as trendy as Deadpool, is indeed bad. You're fleecing your audience which, eventually, they'll resent you for. Supply-and-demand, sure, I get it. But preying on the wallets of zombie-ish fans until they're just sick of the character isn't the way to go; output the single montly, reprint when necessary, appease their cravings with a special or mini or EXTRA-special guest appearance. Of course, a solo character could have a book in 616, "Marvel Knights", and Ultimate if sales so demanded, but they wouldn't muck with each other's continuity and make lunatics on the internet go crosseyed trying to figure-out the timelines. 
14.) Cross-overs would happen every five years, at the most. Doing them every year back-to-back means you're just doing a huge mess of a monthly storyline where everyone's confused on what goes where and who's supposed to be in whose book. "Secret War", the original, was flat-out amazing for it's time and felt SPECIAL. Cross-overs now just seem like the new "Holographic Foil Cover", a blatant money-grabber, an insult. They need to make comic fans who are already hooked feel excited to be reading at the time they're reading them, more of a "You've gotten to know them personally, now watch what happens when they mix it up together" type of thing.  Possibly return them to the titles' Annuals every few years, I always liked that trick...
15.) Kind of continuing from the previous one, I would put a limit on Guest Appearances and team-ups. Those would need to become special again as well, like back when Spider-Man showing-up in "The Avengers" was a seriously big deal. If sales on a book are down, sure, toss-in a Wolverine fight if it will help. But other than that, one team-up a year per solo book unless absolutely crucial to an ongoing storyline, guest appearances need to make sense and not be blatant, and cameos only if they add to the story. Characters that appear on the cover would NEVER only appear in a cameo; I don't run that kind of show. 
16.) I would do everything in my power to get a "Guardians of The Galaxy" animated series on the Sci-Fi Channel, or wherever would take it, really. Nothing would warm my soul more than to hear John DiMaggio voice Rocket Raccoon...
17.) The Sentry goes into outer space and becomes entangled in THAT section of the Marvel U; he's too sily-powerful and just plain irrelevant to be on Earth, but amongst Gladiator, Black Bolt, Vulcan and the like, he'd actually have battles and team-ups that makes sense and he wouldn't have to just be a Deus Ex Machina his entire career. Thor nods his head, smiles, and bids thee farewell, "Golden One"'s time for a REAL God to rejoin The Avengers! AYE, HAVE AT THEE!!!
18.) Marvel MAX Presents: "Alias For Hire", starring Luke Cage, Danny Rand, and Jessica Jones. That's all I should have to say. 
19.) Dan Slott gets to write a "Thing" ongoing, for as long as he damn-well pleases. Like "Nextwave", I would FIND a way, or discover one if need-be...
20.) Thanos gets an ongoing that's not in-continuity (or is it?) where he kills your favorite character every month just to watch you cry. The Mad Titan watches you, children...
21.) The Fantastic Four aren't screwed-around anymore, and are shown proper respect with a writer that would surely give it to them (and really give it to 'em!): Warren Ellis.
22.) Back-up features would be mandatory in books $3.99 or more, even if they're printed on lower-quality paper to save money someway. If I'm having to charge more money, I'll include SOMETHING to compensate; four extra pages on newsprint can't be too much to ask. 
23.) "Power Pack" mass-marketing children's campaign. Why isn't this happening?! Get kids reading comic books! The property is right there! Animated series, toyline, Halloween costumes, breakfast cereal, the whole nine. "Power Pack" would be the children's doorway into the Marvel Universe, starting with the Power Pack "Learn To Read" books, to the "Power Pack Team-Up" All-Ages comic where they meet other characters, which of course leads them to other books. Honestly, couldn't you see a "Lunchables Power Pack" alongside the "Power Pack Puffs" on a shelf somewhere? Come on, Marvel...
24.) Marvel MAX Presents: "The Incredible Hulk Meets The Horrible Celebrities", written by great celebrities. Tina Fey writes a Hulk/Paris Hilton encounter? Yes, please...
25.) I would lure Grant Morrison back to write "Spider-Woman", with instructions to re-confuse her origin, thus hopefully making a small portion of the internet explode. This is to make room for the new fans of COMIC BOOKS I'll be creating, not sterile instruction manuals that some rabid mouth-breathers apparently prefer. Not implying you have to love Morrison, it's more of a vague generalization...if you understand, you understand. If you think about GM writing Spider-Woman and your eyes begin to twitch, well, you're probably one of those I'm targetting...

Raptor Rantings: I Heart The 90's - Darkhawk

      Hey yo. This is my first attempt at a blog here on ComicVine, but far from my first blog. To get an idea of who I am and why I might have business writing at length about comic books, well, here's the short film-version: I'm 28 years old, and was born and raised in Sitka, Alaska, an Island completely surrounded by water with a population of about 9,000 people. I was THE lone "fat comic nerd" when I was a kid in school, so you can imagine how life was growing-up around various hunters, fishermen, and sports freaks, where the woman-to-man ratio is about one for every ten, in favor absolutely nobody. Comic books became my outlet at a very early age; I distinctly remember trading them back-and-forth between friends on the playground in 5th Grade, the earliest I can remember being absolutely in love with the medium. 
      Throughout the years, comics became more than a hobby and something of an obsession. I read them, created them, wrote and drew them. Each page of homework was littered with doodles of Spider-Man and Wolverine, every single free poster included with issues of "Wizard Magazine" was tacked on all four of my bedroom walls...And the ceiling. Having quite frankly given-up hope of landing a girlfriend in High School, I instead gave my attention to the Marvel Universe; it was far, far more interesting, anyway. Post-Graduation, I made several attempts to leave Sitka for greener pastures, though always ending-up back home amongst the familiarity, friends I've had my entire life, and every natural benefit living in Alaska can bring you. In my travels however, I've tried my hand at everything from Pro Wrestling, being a slave at Universal Studios, a mindless worker-ant at Wal-Mart, to most recently Managing a small business, and one thing has never changed: My passion and love for everything comics.
      The 1990's for the comic book industry was a mixed-bag; early on in the decade, everyone was getting rich, while as it closed, the largest comic company in the world was filing for bankruptcy. Being an adolescent during this Era, I can tell you it was indeed a mixed-bag for fans as well. When I began reading comic books regularly, "Operation: Galactic Storm" and Marvel Trading Cards were causing great havoc between my friends and I, nothing hostile, we just couldn't wait to get more and more of everything, completing the Avengers cross-over saga and making sure we had the cards for our favorite heroes. Venom and Ghost Rider were everybody's top picks, and Erik Larsen and Todd McFarlane ruled the world, while Liefeld was days away from rocking the Universe with his first "X-Force", poly-bagged with trading cards and all. Strangely enough, though, all of this craziness would absolutely PALE in comparison to a hero nobody had ever heard of, a hero that Marvel would unleash upon an unsuspecting world that would forever change how at least ONE young fan would perceive comic books forever: The Man They Call...DARKHAWK!!!

"Darkhawk #1" March, 1991

       Trying something different in 1991, Marvel debuted two brand-new characters in ongoing series that hadn't appeared anywhere else before. One was Sleepwalker, the story of a young man with an alien in his brain that was only active when his host was asleep. Surprisingly popular with young girls, Sleepwalker had his own bizarre corner of the market, but his fellow new hero was something else entirely. Darkhawk was created by Tom DeFalco (creator of Spider-Girl) and artist Mike Manley, and featured troubled teenager Chris Powell, who while witnessing his policeman Father taking a bribe from a crime boss, stumbles across an amulet at an abandoned amausement park. Quickly discovering the amulet allowed him to switch places with a super-powerful android that he telepathically controlled (well, he didn't find out exactly what happened, but you get the point). Vowing to use this strange new ability as an "Edge against crime!", Powell began a new career as the adventurer, Darkhawk! 
      When his new life began, Darkhawk was almost portrayed as a "second" to Spider-Man, who guest-starred in Darkhawk's third issue as the two battled The Hobgoblin. The two street-level New York heroes ran into each other frequently in these early years, but others such as Captain America and Daredevil met Darkhawk as well, assisting in fights with Hawk-centric villains like Portal and Savage Steel, as well as The U-Foes and Toad's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (from the pages of "X-Force"! Cha-Ching!). Thankfully though, Chris Powell began to find his own voice and character, the storyline of his Father's corruption and subsequent abandoning his family setting a very moody tone, especially as Powell struggled to care for his younger brothers while also having to be out crime-fighting. Things took a turn for the really dramatic when Tombstone, yet another Spidey villain, ripped the amulet right out of Darkhawk's chest, freezing him in the android body as he slowly bled to death!

"Darkhawk #11", January 1992

      "Heart of The Hawk", as this new direction was called, was the biggest storyline in the Darkhawk mythos. As Chris Powell was frozen inside (so he thought at the time) his Darkhawk armor, he obviously couldn't attend to his family responsibilities, namely the safety of his brothers who were always, it seemed, targets of the Mafia. The most successful chapter of this period was Darkhawk's encounter with Venom, Marvel's Cash Cow at the time, who was still hanging-out on a South Pacific Island, thinking he had killed Spider-Man. Darkhawk had escaped Tombstone's clutches, only to run into Venom, who proudly gloated about murdering Hawk's buddy Spidey. Enraged about that bit of info and literally fighting for his life, Darkhawk lunged at Venom with his razor-sharp wings extended, forcing him to play dead so Darkhawk would go away. What this caused though, was for Powell to feel even MORE distraut that he himself became a murderer, "No better than his back-stabbing Dad", he thought. 

"Darkhawk #13", 1992

      Following "Heart of The Hawk" (he got the amulet back), Darkhawk became both a New Warrior and a very breif member of The West Coast Avengers, Marvel apparently struggling with what exactly to do with the character. He had begun to discover his origins, but Darkhawk was losing steam in a hurry. Having tie-ins with both the "Infinity War" and "Infinity Crusade" cross-overs didn't help much, and so Marvel pulled their "One Last Shot" move that was very typical for the 90's: The costume-overhaul. Daredevil got his wacky grey-and-red armor, everyone had leather jackets and those weird Gambit-masks on that Jim Lee blessed us with. Not one to be left in the cold, Darkhawk was given a new, streamlined update along his path to figuring out just where the hell the amulet came from. It turns out, the Darkhawk armor wasn't armor at all, but an android that had been laying dormant in an alien spacecraft within a dimension called Null Space. When Chris activated the amulet, his body switched places with the android while his conciousness transferred between bodies. The new costume/armor debuted when Powell finds a second amulet, thus trading with a different android body. 

Darkhawk's Second Armor
       While this change briefly shot some interest back into the book, it just as quickly left. Darkhawk became like so many other vicitms of the 90's, in that a character with so much potential in his beginings faded into obscurity with barely a whimper and a pair of shoulder-pads. Making it to a longer-than-average issue #50, "Darkhawk" as an ongoing comic book series was shot-down, most likely putting it out of it's misery. Why most likely? Because nobody, not even me, was reading the book when it was finally put to bed. However, the fact that it made it fifty issues could be a testament to someone's possible fondness for Darkhawk, most likely his creator, Tom DeFalco. Tom is known for being passionate about his creations, most recently being Spider-Girl and her title's constant battles with cancellation, a battle the book finally lost after a ten-year-long struggle. I imagine the man behind both characters felt the same way in 1995 about Darkhawk that he does now about "Mayday" Parker in 2009; like a proud Father, wishing the best for his children in one of the most shallow and competitive industries in entertainment. But in 1995, when his employers at Marvel were sweating over whether-or-not they'd still be in business the next day, books like "Darkhawk" were the first to be culled in the wake of Image Comics' rise to dominance. 
      Today, Darkhawk lives-on as part of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's ongoing Space Saga within Marvel's rejuvenated cosmic-themed books, most notably taking central stage as the assassin of Empress Lillandra (he was being mind-controlled). Before that, Chris Powell saw his cult-status rise as co-star of C.C. Cebulski's "The Loners", a group of Superhero self-helpers that debuted in the pages of the hit book, "The Runaways" by Brian K. Vaughn. So while the 90's may have crashed-down upon Darkhawk's head, at least his worth was recognized by a select few of the industry's best and brightest, a sure sign that my love of the character was and is validated, that I'm not alone. Comics still remain my main area of expertise, something I'll take to my grave as being a close second to the women in my life as my true love, and a greatly gigantic part of that is all in thanks to this guy...

 Thanks, Chris! And thanks for reading! PEACE!!!!

Sure, why not?

Whoever pointed-out the "DC 1,000,000" reference gets a million bonus points, because that's a HUGE giveaway for what's going to happen. Morrison and Johns playing-off each others ideas so they can both point and go, "SEE?! We've been planning this for YEARS!!!" when Martian Manhunter gets saved by Rayner. 
Should be good stuff, though...