Thursday, January 1, 2009

Off we go, into the wild Blue Marvel ....

In late 2000, writer Paul Jenkins & artist Jae Lee introduced the supposedly forgotten silver age hero, The Sentry (aka Robert Reynolds) as a long lost Stan Lee character that had fallen through the cracks at Marvel Comics. To put it mildly, this was just a promotional hoax, that even saw Wizard magazine participating in pulling this prank on an otherwise unsuspecting public. The Sentry’s fictional lineage was no more factual than flying dragons or forest pixies, yet the character initially starred in a series of one-shots, and eventually became a featured member of The Mighty Avengers.

Now it seems like the House of Ideas has recently recycled a similar premise by publishing Adam: Legend of The Blue Marvel #1, by writer Kevin Grevioux and artist Mat Broome. Grevioux, conceived elements of this idea while still in his youth, originally calling his creation Nebula, which was intended to be a black hero who was every bit as powerful as the likes of Thor or the Hulk, and as inspirational as Captain America.

To enhance the back history of the Blue Marvel, Grevioux includes real historical aspects of racism from the Cold War era in America to the Civil Rights movement to tell a story about super-heroes within a fictional context, all set within the Marvel Universe.

Time will tell if The Blue Marvel becomes fully integrated into the greater fictional universe of which he was a previously unknown part, but at least he looks interesting (though I'm not too sure about the logo design on his chest, or his overall costume for that matter, but that silver helmet looks pretty cool).


cash_gorman said...

I thought about picking it up but I have problems with the concepts behind this character.

One, we just had a Superman level hero, the Sentry, inserted into Marvel's history, do we need yet another one? And it smacks of a character created by a kid. You know, the old game of whose favorite hero can beat up who, thus we have a character that is really kewl because he's more powerful than any other character, including the Sentry. The plot also strikes me as being similar to the concept of the Sentry in that immensely powerful superhero was around, disappears from the public eye and everyone forgets about him, until his uber villain shows up that only he is able to stop.

And, for some reason, though things have gotten better with race relations thanks to OTHER people stepping up to the plate, he hasn't shown up at all during all the super-criminal jailbreaks, Galactus dropping by for lunches unannounced and other galactic neighbors acting out their manifest destiny.

The other problem is the nature of the themes and issues he wishes to explore. It doesn't really work with a character this powerful. You have the power of a Superman: you can fly, invulnerable, superstrong, etc. The country you're in is screwed up, you're a minority and it's racist as hell. They want you to stop superheroing. So, answer me this... why do you stay? Think about it. You can go anywhere in the world. You can set up your own city state/commune, build yourself an island with your bare hands if you want. And you can take your friends and family with you. There's nothing anyone can do to stop you. It's not like you're just some joe blow who has to get airfare, a passport, etc.

And would the government really just ask someone with that kind of power to step down and disappear? Don't you think they'd consider that if he's not working for us, he might decide to work for someone else. Or worse, that he'll decide that if that's the way we're going to be, maybe he should do something very proactive about the racist problems in this country and maybe do something about the little police action in Asia. Do we really think that he'd just be content to sit back and do nothing?

Chuck Wells said...

Cash, I agree with what you are saying, in fact you were so eloquent in making your point that I almost posted this as a guest editorial.

Thanks for stopping by pal.

Anonymous said...

I fullheartedly agree with you also Cash. You've pointed out some major flaws of this used concept.

It's insulting at times when they introduce a new character when they could have expanded or develop existing character(s) to make them better prominent ones.

I am going to check it out before I cast my own judgement, but I do feel that with the box office success of the superhero movie "Hancock". DC/Marvel are trying to "cash in" & position themselves to target younger readers who wants to see more prominent & powerful ethnic hero's.

DC re-introducing/merging the Milestone Comics characters Icon, Static, Hardware into the same universe with the rest of the "BIG THREE" Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman.

It seems that Marvel is trying to "cash in" with Blue Marvel. I can't hate on them for trying, but I just hope they are more creative in there story-telling for these characters to be sucessful in the long run.