I have never hidden the fact that Thor, Batman, Wolverine, Spawn and Deadpool are my favorite characters in comics and have blogged about them all in some way, shape or form. As I was sipping my coffee and enjoying some toast this morning, my mind began to wander. This happens from time to time and it is usually how I generate the ideas for the blogs that I write. I will not try to format the thought or thoughts, but will instead let them take me wherever they do.
See how that thought kind of went off on it’s own there? That is what I am talking about. So to get back on topic here. The thought that popped into my head today was about secondary comic book characters and which ones I enjoyed. There are countless characters that are in the background of many of the books that showcase the main characters from the different comic book companies and I thought it would be fun to shine a light in the ones that I love.
Even though DC Comics half-heartedly attempted to push Azrael as a main player in their universe, he was a tough character to market. He is one of my favorite characters of all time due to the uniqueness of the look, the background story and the character of Jean-Paul Valley who was the Avenging Angel Azrael. When DC broke The Batman’s back, Jean-Paul Valley took over the mantle of Batman and brought an edge and insanity that the character has never had before or since. DC knew that the character had a small group of dedicated fans, that included me, and placed him into his own ongoing series. Sales of the book were pretty much touch and go and DC than labeled Azrael as “Agent Of The Bat” and tried to tweak the costume on multiple occasions. This was the death knell for the series and Azrael suffered a supposed off page death. No body was ever found but when the “Darkest Night” event was impacting the DC Universe, a resurrected Black Lantern looked like Azrael and called himself by the name.
I first discovered Dane Whitman A.K.A. The Black Knight in a Thor story arc in which the Egyptian God of Death, known as Seth, was invading Asgard. Balder The Brave was ruling the Golden Realm and called for Thor to return to defend his home. The Black Knight joined Thor to battle the countless hordes and I was hooked. At the time, he carried the sword known as “The Ebony Blade.” According to his wiki: “The blade was shown to have been carved from a meteor, and enchanted by the wizard Merlin for Sir Percy of Scandia, the first Black Knight. Because of all the blood that Sir Percy shed with the blade, it acquired a curse. The sword passed down through the generations until it finally came to Dane Whitman, Sir Percy’s descendant. Dane used the blade for many years. It passed briefly to Valkyrie when Dane’s body was turned to stone, and his soul sent back in time to the 13th century, but was soon returned to him. Due to the curse, Dane eventually gave the Blade up. ” He has been in and out of The Avengers for many years but has always been a favorite.
I know alot of people will assume that I added Angela to the list because of the outfits that she is always drawn in but that is not the case…well ok…that does weigh in on it a bit. Angela was heaven’s assassin to kill Spawn but even though she had killed many Hell Spawn before him and had much more experience, he defeated her. This did not sit well with her but to her surprise, Spawn arrived in Heaven to testify at her trial. He was there to testify that she had permission to attempt to kill him. After the trial Spawn and Angela did begin a romantic relationship, even though one was an Agent from Heaven and the other was chosen to lead Hell’s Army. In issue 100 of Spawn Angela was killed during the battle with Malebolgia.
The hero known as Thuderstrike was originally Eric Masterson, who stood in for Thor when Odin banished him after he killed Loki. After Thor returned and reclaimed Mjolnir, Odin created a mace which shared some attributes as Thor’s hammer named Thunderstrike. Eric was killed when he fought the villain known as Bloodaxe and the mace was taken by SHIELD for safe keeping. After the events of Siege, Steve Rogers (the former Captain America) entrusted the mace to Eric’s son Kevin stating that it was his birthright. Kevin was disenchanted with heroes as he felt Thor left his father die. During a battle with the being known as Mangog, Kevin claimed his birthright and the second hero known as Thunderstrike was born.
Do you remember that Crow comic series that ran for 10 issues by Image Comics in 1999? if you don’t, that is ok, as I expected that answer from you. This version of The Crow does feature Eric Draven (as in the original comics and the original movie) as he tries to set the wrongs things right as he and his fiancee Shelly were murdered right before their wedding a year earlier. The difference with this comic is it was set in the same format as The Crow: Stairway To Heaven TV show, in that Eric would remain even after completing his task to assist those who are wronged by evil. The series is a tough one to track down, even in trades but I do know that there are two trades out there that compile 5 issues each. The Crow: Vengeance collects issues 1 – 3, 5 and 6 of Todd McFarlane’s Crow comic series and The Crow: Evil Beyond Reach collects issues 7 – 10 and 4. These run anywhere between 30.00 to over a 100.00 each.
I really like Tim Drake as a character and I truly believe he was the best Robin that The Batman ever had as he truly embraced all aspects of his Mentor and was only second to The Batman in his detective work. With Damian Wayne taking over the Robin mantle and Dick Grayson now once again resuming the Nightwing identity, Tim Drake assumed the role of Red Robin. I did not like this role and felt it not only moved Tim down the totem pole of importance in the Bat-universe. Tim deserves to be his own hero much like Dick Grayson did when he became Nightwing.