Hasslein Blog: June 2015


Hasslein Blog

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Longbox Legerdemain: Who the %$#& Are The Champions?

By Matthew Sunrich

"I guess there must be a fracus [sic] in the wind."

What do Hercules, Black Widow, Iceman, Angel, and Ghost Rider have in common?

If you answered "not much," I'd be inclined to agree with you.

Yet once upon a time they came together as a team and kept things going for an impressive seventeen issues and a handful of guest appearances.

How on earth did this happen, you ask?

Well, it's not something that's easy to pin down, but perhaps we can shed some light on it by examining what was going on with the individual characters at the time.

In 1975, a new crop of mutant superheroes were introduced in the pages of one of the Bronze Age's most groundbreaking books: Giant-Size X-Men #1. These new members, including Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, and Nightcrawler, revitalized the team and famously rescued the title from reprint limbo. One of the unanticipated consequences of this was that three of the original X-Men, viz. Beast, Iceman, and Angel, wound up striking out for greener pastures.

Beast joined the Avengers, while Iceman and Angel decided to give college a go.

Originally a villain, Black Widow changed her ways and became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a member of the Avengers during the Silver Age. In Amazing Spider-Man #86 (1970), her appearance was overhauled into the one we recognize today (i.e., red hair and black bodysuit). Next, she split billing with the Inhumans in the first eight issues of Amazing Adventures before taking a spin in the pages of Daredevil.


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