Alternate Takes 02.09.13: Top 10 Replacement Heroes (#5 – 1)
Welcome to Week 240 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.
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It looks like Spectacular Spider-Man is coming out more than once a month, because another issue hit this week. What is really interesting to me is that the story is getting better and better. I mentioned last week that I thought it could get old if they just kept having Peter Parker as a ghost making quips as everything is happening. This week, the comic added a new twist. Peter found he can travel through Doctor Octopus’ memories as well.
The story continued what started last issue with the pint sized Vulture minions trying to kill Mary Jane. This time, Spider-Man headed into action to offer The Vulture something. Doc Ock has a long friendship with Vulture and wanted to offer him a large nest egg to retire. It was a nice moment, but was spoiled when Vulture figured he was being tricked and sent his minions to attack Ock. When Ock found out they were just kids he flipped out and might have crippled The Vulture by the end.
The issue did a lot of things. First of all, it looks like Doctor Octopus is on the road to redemption, although he is going about it very violently. When he realized Vulture was using children, he lost it meaning there are lines even Otto won’t cross. Also, Peter learned some about Ock’s childhood and Carlie might have realized that it isn’t Peter inside that body. Add in a very funny moment in the start where JJJ made a Spidey-Signal and Ock destroyed it and explained how stupid the idea was, and you have a great issue.
However, it wasn’t the best comic of the week. That goes to New Avengers #3.
The Illuminati has grown. While Professor X is dead and out of the picture, Black Panther and Captain America have joined the group. Also joining up with the group is The Beast, who Professor X chose as his replacement. The gathering was for one reason. Something is trying to destroy the earth and Black Panther knows they need to do something now. They see a second planet headed towards earth and use the Infinity Gauntlet to fight it back.
When Captain America tries to use it to stop the oncoming planet, it works but all the gems from the Infinity Gauntlet shatter. As a result, there is nothing left to fight what has been trying to destroy the earth. The members all argue and debate the merits of building a weapon that can destroy an entire world to protect themselves. One man refuses to give in here, because as Captain America said, when will they decide to use the weapon to achieve whatever goals they feel I necessary.
One thing had to be done. If you remember the Justice League of America storyline “Identity Crisis” and what happened to Batman, you will know what happened here to defuse the situation and allow the remaining members of the Illuminati do what they wanted, pretty much destroying the reason they band together as a group to begin with. This issue was said to be the start of Marvel’s next big crossover event, and it looks like things are about to get wild.
The original Blue Beetle was Dan Garrett, and then Ted Kord replaced him. I really liked Ted Kord, and loved his relationship with Booster Gold. However, I really like Jaime Reyes, the new Blue Beetle. Luckily for people who liked that relationship, Booster Gold had a lot to do with Jaime becoming Blue Beetle as well when the Scarab attached itself to Reyes back. In his first ever mission, Reyes was able to help Batman and his group beat Brother Eye. He became more of a street level superhero. In the New 52, Jaime is even better, a more individualistic character and one of the best new reinventions of the New 52.
The original Ant-Man was Hank Pym, a very polarizing character. While many comic fans dislike Hank because he was a “wife beater,” I always liked him, although I preferred him in his Yellow Jacket persona. He started out in the original Avengers team as Ant-Man, but when he chose new aliases, a former criminal named Scott Lang took over the role. Lang was hired by Tony Stark after he was released from prison to build a security system. However, when his daughter Cassie became ill, he stole Pym’s costume and shrinking gas to rescue a kidnapped doctor who could save his daughter. Pym knew that Lang stole the uniform, but allowed him to keep it as long as he remained a hero. Scott soon became a great hero and proved that he was rehabilitated. He has recently gone through some tough times. Scott died, but his daughter (now as Stature of the Young Avengers) was able to travel back in time and save him only to return to the present day and watch his daughter die in a giant battle with Dr. Doom. He is now the head of the FF on earth while the Fantastic Four are lost in outer space.
Batman and Robin. They are the perfect superhero and sidekick, as Bruce Wayne took in Dick Grayson after Dick watches his parents die at the hand of gangsters. With Dick suffering the same loss as Bruce, Batman found a like soul and helped mold Robin into one of the world’s greatest superheroes. The two were always tied together, and despite men like Jason Todd and Tim Drake taking over the role of Robin, Dick Grayson was always – in my eyes – the man groomed to take over Batman’s role if the Caped Crusader ever died. It happened twice, but the second time it was after a battle with Tim, Jason and Damien Wayne over who deserved to wear the Batman costume after Bruce’s apparent death. While it looks like Damien might end up as the heir apparent, the only true replacement for Bruce Wayne is Dick Grayson, and for a short time he was perfect in the role.
Hal Jordan is the one true Green Lantern, easily the greatest of them all. However, there are other Lanterns to choose from that protected earth, including Alan Scott, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner. While, honestly, Hal Jordan is the greatest replacement hero of them all (replacing Alan Scott), I don’t want this to be a replacement of Golden Age heroes, but more of a modern day re-imagining of heroes. Therefore, my vote goes to Kyle Rayner, who took the idea of being a Green Lantern and made it both loyal, and very fun. The difference between Kyle and Hal was striking. Hal was a super cop but Kyle was a graphic artist and pretty much a kid. What that meant was that he was more free spirited and used his ring to create some pretty freaking awesome tools in his battles. Hal Jordan is still my favorite Lantern, but Kyle is the most fun use of the power ring that DC came up with.
It has to be pointed out that, when Barry Allen died, it was a shocking turn of events that helped end “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Then he stayed dead – for 23 years. That has to be the longest that a major hero ever stayed out of comics, and his return came at “Final Crisis.” I still find it amazing that Barry Allen started the first major change in origins with the first Crisis and his return kicked off the next major change in origins in “Flashpoint.” However, in between, Kid Flash took over the role of Flash and made it his own. After two decades, younger fans completely forgot (or never knew) about Barry Allen because Wally West became “The” Flash. It is very sad today that Wally has never appeared in the New 52, since for 23 years he became one of the most popular men to ever wear the Flash uniform.
In last week’s battles, Lobo wiped the floor with Hawkman, 339-131, The Spectre took out The Invisible Woman, 320-151, and Namor beat The Beast in a very close fight, 271-207. Now, there was one major upset and I would like someone in this week’s comment section to give me a scenario of how this happened. Luke Cage beat X-Man, 243-231. What I want from you is a detailed fight that shows how Cage beat X-Man.
On to this week’s matchups, including the one that I think might be the toughest to choose so far in this tournament.
D-Rock’s Corner will be back next week
March 1 – Jack the Giant Slayer
March 8 – Oz: The Great and Powerful
March 29 – G.I. Joe: Retaliation
April 12 – The Evil Dead
May 3 – Iron Man 3
May 17 – Star Trek: Into Darkness
June 14 – The Man of Steel
June 21 – World War Z
June 28 – Kick-Ass 2
June 12 – Pacific Rim
July 3 – The Lone Ranger
July 19 – R.I.P.D.
July 26 – The Wolverine
August 2 – Red 2
August 2 – 300: Rise of an Empire
August 6 – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
September 6 – Riddick
September 13 – I, Frankenstein
September 13 – Machete Kills
October 4 – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
October 25 – The World’s End
November 1 – Ender’s Game
November 8 – Thor 2: The Dark World
November 22 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
December 13 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
April 4 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
May 2 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2
July 18 – X-Men: Days of Future Past
August 1 – Guardians of the Galaxy
March 6 – Fantastic Four
May 1 – The Avengers 2
November 6 – Ant-Man