Why Marvel's 'Circle of Four' Team Makes So Much Sense

  • 84 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

You might remember Marvel's announcement that the publisher would be canceling two of their female character driven titles by early 2012. Naturally, following these announcements, fans of X-23 and the new Ghost Rider Alejandra began to look forward to their appearance in the VENOM 'Circle of Four' story-arc. But what do these two ladies have to do with Thunderbolt Ross and Flash Thompson? The release of last week's VENOM #13 brought together some of the most unlikely characters and launched the latest VENOM event.

The brand new arc will be released each week throughout the month of February. The new team includes Ghost Rider, X-23, Thunderbolt Ross and of course, Venom -- all of whom have their own problems to deal with but come together to fight a growing conflict.

If there is one observation to be made about this team is that it is so very different. Each of these four characters come from completely different parts of the Marvel universe, so when the announcement was made that these four would be teaming up for a story, it seemed; well; kind of strange. Particularly since their recent experiences have been so drastically different. The thing is, after reading the first issue of 'Circle of Four' in VENOM #13, the team-up of these four characters actually makes a lot of sense. So what do these characters have in common? Each of them is enduring some kind of an inner struggle; each is trying to uncover and understand who they are.

== TEASER ==

For X-23, the struggle to understand herself has been the overarching theme of her entire series. Who she is, where she has come from and how she deals with being brought to earth to be a killer are things that Laura struggled to come to terms with throughout her 20 issue X-23 series. That experience is very similar to Alejandra, who recently became the host for the Spirit of Vengeance.Toward the end of the Ghost Rider series, Alejandra was struggling to come to terms with her new powers as well as understanding how to control them. That struggle, however, isn't really something we will ever be able to see come to fruition considering the Ghost Rider series did not survive the Marvel axe. Giving Alejandra a role in this series will give the character an opportunity to have their identity fleshed out and will further explore her relationship with Johnny Blaze as her mentor.

Venom's series as a whole has dealt with Flash Thompson's struggle not only to control the Venom symbiote, but to also deal with with his addiction to alcohol and his combat experiences during the war. Let's not forget his relationship to Betty, which he insists is "through."

General Thunderbolt Ross had been after the Hulk for years, so becoming the Red Hulk and then joining the Avengers is like doing a complete 180. Whether the effects of what he has endured in his fight against Cable will be touched on in this series remain to be seen, but it's no question that Ross has undergone some major transitions very recently.

The fact that these characters seem to be going through similar changes and experiences would make them a really interesting team. With Venom on the Secret Avengers, Red Hulk on the Avengers and X-23 part of the Avengers Academy, these character may sometimes be overlooked or overshadowed. This sometimes happens with really big teams. A team of four, however, is kind of perfect: you get to know the characters and the writers can focus on both their individual and collective experiences. I am definitely looking forward to the next issue in the 'Circle of Four' story arc and would not mind seeing this group of unlikely heroes team up for a longer run. What do you think of the team? Do you think it makes sense? Would you like to see more of these four heroes join together?

#1 Posted by ARMIV2 (8306 posts) - - Show Bio

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

#2 Posted by BritishMonkey (321 posts) - - Show Bio

first issue made it all interesting and clear on what's going to happen, now i really want to know what will happen lol

and i want to see flash come clean and honest with betty after all this too and see something work between them, i think it's sad what happened between the two

#3 Posted by nightlock (37 posts) - - Show Bio

sweet

#4 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32908 posts) - - Show Bio

for some reason this reminds me of the "Hearts of Darkness" story arc

Online
#5 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

@ARMIV2 said:

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

Yeah, me too.

#6 Posted by saoakden (1026 posts) - - Show Bio

These four looks awesome together. Hopefully the team is seen more after this 6-part event.

#7 Posted by Solarflare32 (393 posts) - - Show Bio

Anyone think ghost rider and blade should be given a spot in of marvels team books to raise their profile a bit

#8 Posted by tectonic_prose (17 posts) - - Show Bio

BOOO RULK SUCKS!

#9 Edited by pspin (891 posts) - - Show Bio

This is pretty cool so far, the end of issue 1 was interesting and I hope these guys team up again.

I also think that Alejandra should have been given a better chance from Marvel, team ups like this could be awesome for a character like her that no one else in the Marvel Universe really knows. She could be a very interesting character with all she can do with the Ghost Rider abilities but alas Fear Itself killed it and now a character with tons of potential will fall into limbo because Marvel has poor marketing... so sad!!

#10 Posted by EugeneSaxe (227 posts) - - Show Bio

Is Marvel so out of it that they can't give Ross another name?

#11 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

@ARMIV2 said:

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

Yeah, me too.

Well, that and that they're a living "New Fantastic Four" reference.

#12 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123 said:

@ReVamp said:

@ARMIV2 said:

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

Yeah, me too.

Well, that and that they're a living "New Fantastic Four" reference.

I... I seriously can't believe I didn't see that. I'm seriously surprised. I haven't been surprised over the internet... ever.

#13 Posted by The Impersonator (5078 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

@ARMIV2 said:

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

Yeah, me too.

#14 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

@ReVamp said:

@ARMIV2 said:

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

Yeah, me too.

Well, that and that they're a living "New Fantastic Four" reference.

I... I seriously can't believe I didn't see that. I'm seriously surprised. I haven't been surprised over the internet... ever.

o_O You didn't know? Surely you jest.

#15 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123 said:

@ReVamp said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

@ReVamp said:

@ARMIV2 said:

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

Yeah, me too.

Well, that and that they're a living "New Fantastic Four" reference.

I... I seriously can't believe I didn't see that. I'm seriously surprised. I haven't been surprised over the internet... ever.

o_O You didn't know? Surely you jest.

No. I mean, I knew it and that must be why I liked the team, but I never actually realized it. You know those moments when you see/know something, but don't realize it?

#16 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp: I see.

@EugeneSaxe said:

Is Marvel so out of it that they can't give Ross another name?

What would he call himself? General Kickass?

#17 Posted by zombietag (1491 posts) - - Show Bio

"Each of them is enduring some kind of an inner struggle; each is trying to uncover and understand who they are."

i love comicvine and i dont mean to knock on this article, but this seems really broad. who in the MU (or any story for that matter) doesnt fall under this? its like the catalyst for any good story or character.

#18 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123 said:

@EugeneSaxe said:

Is Marvel so out of it that they can't give Ross another name?

What would he call himself? General Kickass?

Better than Rulk.

#19 Posted by AmericanSymbiote (9 posts) - - Show Bio

It is a pretty interesting team. I'm just curious to how it'll all end off. Ross isn't the sort of person that'll just say, "You helped us stop hell from engulfing the planet so you can keep the symbiote Eugene... Kthxbai." Especially if Venom comes out in one of the later issues. Anyone remember the "What if this was the Fantastic Four?" This team reminds me of an anti-hero version of the Frightful Four that appeared in that issue (you know... if Sandman was Vengeance or someone else).

#20 Posted by EugeneSaxe (227 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123: That's a Hell of a lot more original than "Red Hulk".

#21 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

The hookup is random, I agree - pulling across the Marvel spectrum, but I am intrigued. Totally forgot about my girl X-23 being in this, so I better get cracking on getting my hands on it. Now with Liu no longer in charge of her, I am curious to see how others with handle Laura.

At least it gets her out of the teenager environment that I think she has more than dealt with already as a character.

#22 Posted by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

i do hope venom can make it back on his feet and back to betty, they are good for each other

#23 Posted by obscurefan (274 posts) - - Show Bio

A part of me really loves the fact that each of these four characters are based on another character, and have split off to completely become their own thing (or at least have the potential to). Something about that makes them a fun idea for a team.

#24 Posted by King Quisling (1980 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey Comicvine.... is Marvel paying you to make this and X-Sanction look good?

#25 Posted by Swiffer (54 posts) - - Show Bio

I stopped reading venom a couple issues ago....now I want to pick it back up.

#26 Edited by Wattup (648 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought I remembered reading somewhere on this site that ComicVine had a policy against using full page scans. It had something to do with an author's stance on comic piracy/downloads and the unlicensed use of a publishing company's material for articles.

#27 Posted by Watcherg6 (263 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait isn't this the New Fantastic four? Ghost rider, Wolverine, SPiderman, and the hulk???

#28 Posted by sparty-dbq (781 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm really intrigued by this team-up, and it's the only reason I'm making an exception on my personal boycott of .1 issues.

It's still a total crock, though.

#29 Posted by SilverHammerMan (20 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm sorry, I just can't take this new Ghost Rider and her demon boobs seriously. Johnny Blaze is the only Ghost Rider for me.

#30 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

@Wattup said:

I thought I remembered reading somewhere on this site that ComicVine had a policy against using full page scans. It had something to do with an author's stance on comic piracy/downloads and the unlicensed use of a publishing company's material for articles.

None of these scans are a full page.

#31 Posted by KainScion (2973 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp: its like scooby doo is talking: ro oh raggy here comes rulk!!

#32 Posted by VioletPhoenix (294 posts) - - Show Bio

Isn't it technically a square of four? :/

#33 Posted by x_29 (2274 posts) - - Show Bio

This actually does make alot of sense. Im only reading this because of X-23 and so far this seems to be a big dumb fun B-movie esc event :)

#34 Posted by Skaddix (3112 posts) - - Show Bio

No it really does not. A quick team up but a team on a long term basis no I dont see it.

#35 Posted by OmegaTheDestroyer (1009 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123 said:

@ReVamp said:

@ARMIV2 said:

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

Yeah, me too.

Well, that and that they're a living "New Fantastic Four" reference.

I came in here to say that but you beat me to it.

#36 Posted by redhood21 (774 posts) - - Show Bio

Venom has been nothing but good so ill check it out. nothing wrong with team ups no matter how rando. unless its deadpool team up.... way to ruin a good character...

#37 Posted by Ninjadozer (9 posts) - - Show Bio

Reminds me of the New Fantastic Four 3 part story run. Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine and Ghost Rider. Pretty neat so far.

#38 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

The X-Force's answer to the Fantastic Four I say. Awesome stuff!

#39 Posted by SoA (4707 posts) - - Show Bio

only reason i got into this story was bc it reminded me of the New Fatastic Four of the 90s(wolverine, ghost rider, spider-man, hulk)

#40 Posted by GuruOfFunk (442 posts) - - Show Bio

Pretty interesting team and a pretty good issue.

#41 Posted by Punisher007 (56 posts) - - Show Bio

Strange Red Hulk is getting a lot more attention at Marvel than Hulk.

#42 Posted by ARMIV2 (8306 posts) - - Show Bio

@ReVamp said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

@ReVamp said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

@ReVamp said:

@ARMIV2 said:

I figured it was because they looked cool together.

Yeah, me too.

Well, that and that they're a living "New Fantastic Four" reference.

I... I seriously can't believe I didn't see that. I'm seriously surprised. I haven't been surprised over the internet... ever.

o_O You didn't know? Surely you jest.

No. I mean, I knew it and that must be why I liked the team, but I never actually realized it. You know those moments when you see/know something, but don't realize it?

I'm with you right there.

#43 Posted by notlupus (6 posts) - - Show Bio

Anyone remember the New Fantastic Four? The group that replaced the old FF when it was presumed dead in space? The group that attempted to bring the Human Torch to justice after setting fire to Empire State?

Wolverine = X23

SpiderMan = Venom

Hulk = Red Hulk

Old Ghost Rider = New Ghost Rider

there was an awesome What If featuring them.

#44 Posted by CATPANEXE (9368 posts) - - Show Bio

Ghost Rider was the only one that didn't fit to me. Ross already met up with X-23 in Code Red and has respect for anyone who was on any side of that conflict. He also has an automatic respect in place for anyone who served in the armed forces, and therefore Flash as well. All three are trained professionals imbued with the instincts to glom onto and work with other soldiers of war and or fortune. Ghost Rider seemed the odd one out, and more there do to the supernatural aspects of the story. In any case it's a redux of the Wolverine, Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Spider-man " Dream Team " version of the Fantastic 4 first, and the writer then found a way to join them together.

#45 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

@CATPANEXE said:

Ghost Rider was the only one that didn't fit to me.

Why? It's a story about hell on Earth.

@CATPANEXE said:

Ross already met up with X-23 in Code Red and has respect for anyone who was on any side of that conflict. He also has an automatic respect in place for anyone who served in the armed forces, and therefore Flash as well.

Also, Ross doesn't respect those who go AWOL.

He's not a big fan of Flash at the moment. =P

#46 Edited by Sammo21 (687 posts) - - Show Bio

I am really loving this arc so far, but I hate what the art did to X-23. The scene of her in the casino made her look like she was a 40 year old crack addicted woman (I had to delete my original choice of words there lol).

Also, why do the symbiotes on the X-23 clones (clones of clones...shouldn't this be a problem genetically?) have the color pattern of Venom (Black/White) opposed to Toxin whom the symbiote was taken from (black/red). Did I miss something there to explain this?

#47 Posted by scifi_superstar (41 posts) - - Show Bio
I dont think it makes sense at all. All four of those charactrrs are antisocial. But yet they are grouped together as a team. Maybe if its a one shot deal. The only thing they do have ggoing is that thy look cool.
#48 Posted by Ferro Vida (34675 posts) - - Show Bio
@Watcherg6 said:

Wait isn't this the New Fantastic four? Ghost rider, Wolverine, SPiderman, and the hulk???

Exactly. Saying this has never been done before is an overstatement. 
 
#49 Posted by Mercy_ (92634 posts) - - Show Bio

@tectonic_prose said:

BOOO RULK SUCKS!

Agreed. However my love for X-23 supersedes my hatred of Rulk.

Moderator Online
#50 Edited by CATPANEXE (9368 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123: Hence why I pointed out GR's involvement due to supernatural story elements.

and more there do to the supernatural aspects of the story.

My opinion on Ross stands, sorry. Ross himself went AWOL and tried taking the White House on, ontop of a multitude of other things, and still goes off the grid on a frequent basis, currently for that matter in Hulk Of Arabia. Ross is always a hard-ass on everyone, he has a drill sergeant mentality, it doesn't indicate a true lack of respect. My analysis was on why these characters actually blend together well and would work together, as opposed to in the interest of their character studies and relations.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.