All posts by symbifan777

Supernatural Saviors

1011107_kindlephoto-284515435Greetings, boils and ghouls! Tis’ your old pal, the Symbi-Keeper, with a tale from a Marvel Universe much like the one we know, yet somewhat….altered. This yarn begins in the distant land known as Louisiana….(Cue the maniacal laughter!) Whew! I bet reading that in your best HBO “Crypt-Keeper” voice really wore you comic fans out! Not to worry, I think I got most of that out of my system now. I guess it’s just the season. Halloween just seems to bring out your inner monster. That brings me back to the subject of this month’s article, Marvel Comics’ Supernaturals 4-Part miniseries.

605275The story begins with action. The first panel shows two young African-American boys standing in the center of a creepy graveyard in the middle of the night. They stand within a circular arcane symbol with a strange dagger. The elder boy, Daniel, slashes his hand, dripping his blood within. His younger brother Jericho is more unsure. But he does the same after promises that this ritual will bring their deceased mother back to them. As you can imagine, the whole thing goes horribly awry as there is a blast of fire. Nearly blinded by the inferno, Jericho opens his tear-filled eyes to see the bloody dagger hit the ground. Daniel is gone! At this moment, all non-mystically powered superheroes around the globe simply disappear! The story picks up again 13 years later, near Halloween. A now-grown Jericho Drumm awakens in his bed, screaming the name of his sibling. Jericho is soon to find out that now, nearing the anniversary of that fateful night (Dubbed the Chaos Event.), the remaining mystical heroes of the planet are now starting to turn up missing! He immediately takes on the guise of his super alter ego, Brother Voodoo, and seeks out the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Dr. Strange. But, upon reaching the good doctor’s home, it is discovered that he as well is now gone! Not to worry, though. Sensing his impending doom, Strange set up a failsafe. A relic meant to seek out five other “chosen” individuals to prevent another Chaos Event. Of course the relic I speak of is the Eye of Agamotto. Wasting no time, Brother Voodoo searches out the others: Black Cat, Ghost Rider, Satana, Gargoyle, and Werewolf By Night!

supernaturals_2The problem? Another has risen and is rallying the forces of darkness into an army. His name is Jack O’ Lantern and he knows of the “chosen” as well. In fact, while Voodoo was busy at Strange’s, all of them have been under attack! But, using the powers at his disposal, Brother Voodoo teleports to each one in turn, snatching them from the clutches of evil. All but one are taken to sanctuary….except Werewolf By Night. No, Voodoo was too late to save this poor beast. While the group gets to know each other a bit better (and squabble about even joining this band of supernatural misfits!), the villainous Jack O’ Lantern has our good friend, the Werewolf By Night, chained in a strange dimension. While there, he uses his incalculable arcane abilities to separate the werewolf from its human host! Meanwhile, the others are finally convinced that the time has come to use their powers against the coming threat. (Oh, and the recently resurfaced Werewolf By Night joins them as well. Convenient, eh?) That is when N’ Kantu, the Living Mummy, and other evil creatures choose to attack the unsuspecting city! Led by their master, there seems to be no stopping them! Who will save the day?! The Supernaturals, baby! Or they would, if Jack O’Lantern hadn’t blasted Brother Voodoo into a coma and separated the others throughout time!

supernaturals_3 As the heroes confront monstrous adversaries in different times, they must also confront their own fears. Ghost Rider and Black Cat face crazed witch-hunters, Headless Horseman, and the Scarecrow in Salem during the witch trials. Gargoyle goes it alone against a horde of zombies, and the Chupacabra. Satana and Werewolf By Night take on Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and an army of vampires and werewolves in old Transylvania. As the heroes battle on they all fall, one by one, to the forces of evil.  But, in the Transylvanian past, a shocking event (yeah, right!) occurs. The Werewolf betrays Satana by knocking her out and delivering her to Jack O’Lantern! All of this, along with Brother Voodoo being mentally tortured by memories of the night his family perished!

2933bbb161eabf3e587b3c7d1e0eAs Halloween night fast approaches and our heroes are underpowered and chained, Jack O’ Lantern is given a mystical horn by his minions upon his request. Upon blowing it, the giant monsters from Marvel’s past arise all over the world: Grottu, Droom, Gruto, Gorgorilla, Moomba, Grogg, Roombu, and Groot! (I am Groot. Sorry. “Guardians” flashback.) Meanwhile, Jack O’Lantern reveals that he just requires the blood of an innocent to complete his goal of Hell on Earth. To do this, he chooses Satana’s human counterpart. But as he raises a familiar looking dagger into the air, Brother Voodoo recognizes it from that fateful night, 13 years ago, with his brother at the cemetery in Louisiana! Jack O’ Lantern is his missing brother! Voodoo snaps out of his catatonic state and attacks.

At the same time, Werewolf By Night reveals himself to be on the side of angels and frees Satana! (Shockers abound, right?!) As the Supernaturals all fight for the future of the universe and their very lives, other mystically-powered superheroes appear around the planet defeating the menace of the titanic conjured monsters! While this is going on, Brother Voodoo seems to be failing in his battle against his evil sibling! Sensing this, the Supernaturals all grasp the Eye of Agamotto and channel their combined might into Voodoo. Empowering him he uses all of this, plus his own might, and sends the now depowered Jack O’ Lantern into a void, never to return! But, as he falls into nothingness, he warns that only he has the power to return the other heroes of Earth! The end. Quite a climactic ending huh kiddies? Too bad the series was never picked back up to tell us what happened next. But I’m sure that the as long as there was a mighty team like the Supernaturals out there, the day was eventually won. Well, that’s it for me fellow comic fans. But before I leave you….Happy Halloween from all of us at the Unspoken Decade! (‘Nuff said!)

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A Warrior’s Path: The Journey of Guy Gardner

ggwa1-coverYeah, I know. He’s arrogant, pompous, and opinionated (Plus a long list full of even more negative adjectives that would make even a sailor blush!) In other words, he’s a jerk. Be that as it may, I like him. Why you ask? Because he’s real. What do I mean by that? Read on and you might just discover that for yourself. The life of Guy Gardner wasn’t what you would call pleasant. He was raised by an abusive, alcoholic father that would rather beat him senseless than show him any affection. This caused Guy to act out in his teen years to the point of becoming a juvenile delinquent. His older brother, Mace, straightened him out though and Guy went to college. There, he played football and earned bachelor’s degrees in education and psychology. He had many jobs after college but none of them ever seemed quite right.

801957That is, until the day Gardner was chosen to be one of Earth’s Green Lanterns. This was it. His chance to be somebody. To be a superhero! Guy exhibited (Mostly due to his upbringing) arrogant and violent tendencies as a hero. This led him to challenge the rightful Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, into a fistfight. Winner keeps the ring. Guy lost that challenge and surrendered his power ring.

1081687  Unable to accept that his days as a hero were now behind him, Gardner next acquired the yellow ring of Sinestro. Keep in mind that the color yellow was the only weakness of a Green Lantern at this time! (Geez! Bitter much?!) But, Guy soon lost the power of his yellow ring after yet another battle with, you guessed it, Hal Jordan! (In Guy’s defense, Hal was now the powerhouse villain known as Parallax at this point.)

guy_gardner_warrior_03But, still unwilling to stop his search for power, Guy traveled to the Amazon. There, he would discover the relic known as The Chalice of the Warrior. Drinking water from it, Guy Gardner awakened dormant DNA placed within his bloodline by alien creatures known as Vuldarians! Vuldarians, as it turned out, were a warrior race that could shapeshift parts of their bodies into weapons by mere thought, limited only by the power of their imagination! This included fantastic bladed weapons and even complex firearms.

guy_gardner_warrior_04Finally, a power to uniquely call his own! Guy, now called Warrior, set out to become the hero he had always dreamed of being. During this time, Warrior defeated many powerful supervillains, gained the respect of other superheroes, and even made peace with his past.

guy_gardner_warrior_44Though this era in the Guy Gardner mythos is often overlooked and, to many, he will always be seen as a second-string  Green Lantern with an attitude problem. But, to me this was the greatest time to read about the character. To me it seemed as if all of his dreams had finally been realized and he had received his much-deserved status as an icon. You see, unlike Hal Jordan, Guy made many mistakes in his life, but he had learned from every one.  He had come from less than humble beginnings and become something much more. Isn’t that what every human being wants in life? To finally receive a happy ending after a lifetime of trials and tribulation? Guy Gardner was and is less than perfect. He is flawed like everyone else. That’s what makes him real.ggwa2-cover

You Will Believe a Boy Can FLY!

526477-fly1As a kid, who didn’t want to be a superhero? I know I did! I think that was the appeal to The Fly character by DC’s Impact line of comics. Journey back with me to an age where comics were fun. An age where comic movies weren’t the norm, big event titles were more of a summer thing, and heroes didn’t murder other heroes. But first, a little history on our bug-eyed friend.

The_Fly_1,_Impact_Comics,_August_1991_by_Mike_Parobeck_and_Paul_FrickeThe Fly was originally created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Archie Comics’ Red Circle line in 1959. After cancellation he was revived in 1984 under the same banner for a short time. The incarnation of the character we will be looking at will be The Fly of the 90’s. In 1991 DC had acquired the rights to all Archie superhero characters and released them under their Impact line. Though the line only lasted until 1993, many fans (including myself), still look upon this era fondly. All of the Impact characters were fun in their own way, but to me, one always seemed to stick out….The Fly!

629781Jason Troy wasn’t a troublemaker but he wasn’t exactly an honor student either. He was your typical kid. Average in most ways but full of imagination. It was during his high school Mythology class that he was found playing video games during a lecture. Caught by the teacher, he was given the assignment of creating his own superhero based on one of the Earth’s most humble creatures. Jason chose a fly. (Some punishment, huh?) The teacher was so impressed with his work, he rewarded Jason with a fossil of a fly trapped in amber. Soon after receiving this, it was discovered that the fossil possessed the strange power to in fact transform Jason into the character of his design….The Fly!

629331Wasting no time, The Fly flew into action against an attacking superpowered arsonist downtown, easily defeating him in combat! Excited but curious, Jason reverted back to normal to speak to the teacher. After all, who else would know the mystery of the fossil better than he? Upon his return, it was discovered that no one had ever heard of the strange Mythology teacher! Confused, Jason left school and embarked upon his new career as a superhero! The Fly fought many fun and unique villains throughout the title’s run. He even joined the premiere superhero team, The Crusaders, with other heroes such as The Shield, The Comet, The Jaguar, etc.

But, during a battle alongside these heroes, The Fly, along with several other heroes, disappeared into another dimension. It wasn’t until years later that he reemerged, a man! He was soon married to fellow Crusader, The Jaguar. That was about it. In 1993, all Impact titles were cancelled due to low sales. We were never to learn the secret of the mysterious fly trapped in amber. Sad. But, rather than focusing on the negative, let’s look at all of the amazing adventures he gave us. How, for a short time, all of us around the same age as the Jason Troys’ character felt what he must have felt with the power to pummel supervillains, to meet and fight side by side with other heroes, and most of all….to fly! For the short time that title lasted, we knew what it felt like to be a superhero ourselves.

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