Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Marvel The Collector & Elders of the Universe Key Comics 2

Continuing this request is Part 2 to this Collector & Elders of the Universe Key Comics series. We covered some 1st appearances like the Collector, the Grandmaster, and Ego the Living Planet.

In this part, we'll see two origins, but one of them is pretty big concerning the Collector and the Elders. I mentioned in Part 1 that we'll be seeing the comic that first mentions the Collector as an Elder and their existence in the Marvel Universe, and we'll be seeing that one here.

In case you missed Part 1, that link will bring you back. Other than that, let's see what I can dig up here. Enjoy or not.

THOR #228
Origin of Ego the Living Planet

This comic here just might have the first origin of Ego the Living Planet. Don't confuse Ego with Ego Prime who was birthed from a sample of Ego.

In this issue, Ego projects images into Thor's mind and the Thunder God sees the origin of how Ego came to be. Don't think either Overstreet or CGC is noting this as Ego's origin issue currently. 

Perhaps the new holders do but not sure. In the most current guide, #228 is just noted as Thor, Firelord, & Galactus vs. Ego. Pretty under the radar key issue for ego at the moment. CGC 9.8s are still pretty affordable at least for now.

Thor #228 and the origin of Ego has the cover date of  October, 1974.

THOR #235
1st appearance of the Possessor

Another Elder that makes his first appearance in the Bronze Age is Kamo Tharnn, also known as the Possessor. He hails from the planet Rus and is a seeker of knowledge.

He possesses the Runestaff, a mystical artifact of alien origin, that was once stolen by Sif. The Runestaff contains a pocket dimension that houses the life forces of hundreds of thousands of sentient beings. He once housed the spirit of Jane Foster but later freed her and all the others.

The Runestaff allows the Possessor the ability to travel across dimensions, and it also has the ability to control emotions as well as heal. The Possessor would be one of the Elders who would align with the other Elders in using all six Infinity Gems to destroy Galactus with.

While the Contemplator in that Silver Surfer vol 3 story arc was revealed to be a Skrull impersonator, I think it was the real Possessor and not a Skrull in those stories. Not all that sure though. Thor #235 has the cover date of May, 1975.

1st appearance of the Contemplator

The 1st appearance of the Contemplator, also known as Tath Ki, is in this issue here, and he goes under the alias of a "Mister Buda" who sends Captain America (Steve Rogers) in a sort of a time journey that showed Cap the important historical and future events of America. It was a journey that was to teach Cap more about himself and his role as symbol for his country.

Spending millions of years in meditation and developing his mind and spirit, the Contemplator is fascinated in figuring out the universe's mysteries and has achieved almost complete harmony with the cosmos. In later comics, a Skrull imposter of him would align himself with the other Elders of the Universe in a plot to destroy Galactus.

The character did not possess any of the Infinity Gems when Thanos tracked them down in Thanos Quest. This is a Marvel Treasury Edition, and Captain America's Bicentennial Battles #1 is not that very well-known and has a cover date of June, 1976.

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1st appearance of the Gardner
1st appearance of the Time Gem
1st appearance of the Power Gem

Okay, I'm not gonna do the 1st appearance of the Infinity Gems because most of their first appearances had the wrong color or the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entry on the Infinity Gems, the Stranger has a yellow gem that's suppose to be the Power Gem and the Gardener's red gem is suppose to be  the Time Gem. The colors would supposedly be switched to Red and Orange later.

Once again, not sure how true this is or not, but that's what the source does say. I've talked about the first appearance of the Gardner already before and the confusion as to which Infinity Gems make their first appearances in this issue.

The Stranger is above with his yellow or orange gem. The Gardner below has what looks to be a red gem. Well, it appears they changed the color codec for the Infinity Gems later on. After all, they were first all called Soul Gems in their early appearances as you can see from the panels in this issue.
I'll go with what the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe says. Really no point in me arguing since I wasn't there creating these things or there revamping them later. What is known is that the Gardner makes his first appearance in this issue. This comic does debut two more Infinity Gems.

We all know so far that the Purple Stone in GOTG is the Power Stone (MCU changes the colors as well as the name from gem to "stone"), which in the comics is suppose to be red. So the red Aether in Thor: The Dark World is not the Power Stone, unless Peter Gunn is pulling our leg, and is speculated to be the Reality Gem in comic speak.

Reality Gem is orange or yellow in the comics, but even the comics can't keep the colors straight. They change from time to time as well and even in the newer stuff.

Pretty interesting. Anyway, in Thanos Quest #2, Thanos does take the Mind Gem from the Grandmaster, and it is blue. 

Thanos also takes the Space Gem from the Runner and it's green in Thanos Quest #2. Despite the different colors the Time Gem was shown in previous comics, Thanos confirms that he did wrestle the Time Gem from the Gardener in issue #1 of Thanos Quest

Prior to the Thanos Quest story, Thanos does say that he found a gem abandoned on Earth's moon in Avengers Annual #7, and that it once belonged to the Gardner. It was a red color in that issue.

Also in Thanos Quest #2, he takes the Reality Gem from the Collector and it is orange or yellow. Hard to tell.
If we're talking about basing the Infinity Gems' colors to the colors of the stones in the cinematic universe, they are as different as they are constantly depicted in the comics. In the movies, we have the Reality Stone (Red Aether), Mind Stone (Loki's scepter and then Vision), Power Stone (GOTG Purple Orb), and the Space Stone (Tesseract).

So we are missing the Time Stone and the Soul Stone in the movies. Some are speculating the Eye of Agamotto might be the Time Stone, and we'll be seeing that in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie this November.

So if that's true, the first appearance of the Time Gem in comics is in this issue here and was first in the possession of the Gardner, who also makes his 1st appearance in this issue. Marvel Team-Up #55 has the cover date of March, 1977.

1st appearance of Carina Tivan

Carina Tivan isn't an Elder but she is the Collector's daughter. Unfortunately, his daughter ends up betraying her own father and falls in love with Michael Korvac.

Actually, the Collector sent her to Earth to spy on Michael Korvac as the Collector foresaw that Korvac and Thanos would become powerful threats that could challenge the Elders of the Universe (revealed in a later issue). A cinematic version of this character might have already appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

She was the Collector's unwilling aide who tried to take the orb and use it to free herself from him. I think you might remember that from the film. Well, the character's name is also Carina and was played by Ophelia Lovibond.

Regardless, this is still considered a key issue concerning the Collector. She is not revealed to be the daughter of the Collector in this issue, and in her debut, she is known as Carina Walters. Avengers #167 has the cover date of January, 1978.

1st cameo appearance of Matani Tivan
Origin of the Collector
Revealed to be an Elder of the Universe 

This is a pretty important key issue for the Collector. There's quite a bit going on.

The Collector reveals his origin in this issue and how he acquired the obsession of collecting after his wife's death. As a result Matani Tivan makes her first appearance in a flashback and cameo.

Avengers #174 also reveals why he has been collecting powerful or interesting beings, and that was because he foresaw the coming of Thanos. However, he also reveals that he foresaw a bigger threat and that was Korvac and sent his daughter Carina to spy on as mentioned before.

Yep, this issue is the very first mention about the Elders of the Universe. It shows his wife but does not explain her eventual death.

The panels below explained how his brother the Grandmaster, whom isn't named but obviously implied, was intent on playing games but the Collector himself was cursed to foresee the coming of Thanos and became intent and obsessed with collecting and preserving creatures he deemed interesting enough to save from the onslaught of Thanos.
We also see that Carina has indeed fallen in love with Korvac and ends up betraying her father in this issue. So, we got a first origin for the Collector in this issue, the first tie-in and mention of the Elders of the Universe, a connection between the Grandmaster and the Collector, and it's revealed that Carina is the Collector's daughter.

Sounds like a key issue regarding both the Collector and the Elders of the Universe to me. Avengers #174 has the cover date of August, 1978. It's not that sought out of a key currently

1st appearance Champion of the Universe

The Champion of the Universe is a character that did have one of the Infinity Gems that was taken from Thanos. It was the Power Gem in the Thanos Quest #1.

The Champion is obsessed with establishing himself as the greatest warrior in all the universe and often challenges many of the superhero powerhouses in combat. Mighty characters like the Thing, Hulk, Thor, Colossus, Wonder Man, Namor and Sasquatch go up against the Champion in this here issue.

Each are to go up against the Champion one-on-one. The Hulk, Thor, and Wonder Man end up being disqualified and teleported away. Colossus and Sasquatch are beaten.

In the end, the Thing is left to battle the Champion. Blue Eyes takes a beating from his opponent but refuses to give up. Although the Champion clearly gave him a beating, he earns the respect of the Champion. Marvel Two-in-One Annual #7 has the cover date of October, 1982.

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So we've got four new 1st appearances of Elders of the Universe in Part 2, all from the Bronze Age of comics. Hard to tell which others will pop up if any.

If the Eye of Agamotto will indeed be the Time Gem, will that lessen the chance of the Gardner making an appearance? I know that the movie barely follows the comics concerning certain things, but will the Grandmaster have the Soul Stone in Thor: Ragnarok?

It'll be interesting to see what the Grandmaster's role will be, and how or what Ego's purpose will be on the big screen if Ego indeed does pop up.

Quite a few of these keys are over-looked currently. Not really sure if it's because they aren't well-known or just aren't cared about yet.

Will have to see how they do in the near future. There will be a Part 3 and I think that will mainly deal with the Copper Age 1st appearances of whatever Elders I can find. I dunno if I want to put in Thanos Quest since I already talked a lot about those two issues already here.

We will see though. Alright, Part 3 is on it's way, so see ya till then.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Marvel The Collector & Elders of the Universe Key Comics

Recently got a request to do a key issues list about the character of the Collector. I thought just doing a key comics series about the Collector would be too short, and remembered Gerry talking about the Elders of the Universe a while back, mainly Ego the Living Planet.

So, I thought might as well combine it all into one deal. This will mainly be a 1st appearances list for the most part. Well, I dunno, will have to see what I find or don't find.

Quite a few of the Elders of the Universe don't really have origin keys, and I'm sure I won't be able to find the 1sts for all of them. I admit that I don't know much about these characters, but let's see what I can dig up.

And we're off! This is Part 1.

1st appearance of the Collector
Giant-Man becomes Goliath
Goliath joins Avengers

When it comes to the Elders of the Universe, the first to pop up in Marvel Comics was the Collector. His real name is Taneleer Tivan.

He is billions of years old and also a powerful being that wields a part of the Power Primordial a long with his fellow Elders. The Power Primordial are remains of energies left over from the Big Bang.

The Collector began collecting artifacts and life forms in an attempt to keep his sanity after the death of his wife Matani Tivan. In his 1st appearance in this issue, he attempts to collect the Avengers.

Although the Collector is the first Elder of the Universe to appear in comics, the Elders of the Universe concept was not revealed in this issue. The whole concept of the Elders of the Universe and the Collector being one would be revealed in later issue.

We shall be coming to that issue shortly. The Collector was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and The Avengers #28 has the cover date of May, 1966. As we all know, Benicio Del Toro plays the character on the big screen.

THOR #132
1st cameo appearance of Ego the Living Planet
1st appearance of the Grand Commissioner  
1st appearance of Sir Porga
1st appearance of Recorder 211

Another creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby is Ego the Living Planet. Once again, he was introduced before the concept of the Elders of the Universe was brought to light. Ego first appears in Thor #132, and it's still a pretty over-looked 1st appearance in comics. Gerry recently got a high-grade one. You can read the story about his Thor #132 copy.

Although still noted as his first appearance, Ego only shows up at the very last page of this issue. He does announce himself as Ego, but he appears only on the very last page which is a full one.

Here's his introduction into the world of Marvel Comics.

So, CGC notes this as a 1st cameo appearance currently. Overstreet still notes it as a 1st appearance. I think they'll come around soon enough.

This issue also has 1st appearances of some minor characters like the Grand Commissioner and Sir Porga.  The Grand Commissioner is the leader of the Regillians, a space-colonizing race of aliens.

Although a villain, the Regillians would seek the help of Thor against an entity that was more fearsome and threatening than them. That entity is of course Ego!

Sir Porga is another minor character that was an evolved pig created by the High Evolutionary.  He was an ambassador to the humans and an underling to the High Evolutionary.

Recorder 211 is a monitoring robot for the Regillians. He is sent by them to accompany Thor to the Black Galaxy where they find Ego. Recorder 211 would later gain sentience and escaped deactivation.

These are minor key notations that due remain neglected. Not a huge deal, and Thor #132 has the cover date of September, 1966.

THOR #133
1st full appearance of Ego the Living Planet
1st Thor vs. Ego battle
1st Ego on cover

Overstreet does not note this issue as the 1st full appearance of Ego, but CGC does. Overstreet only notes this as Thor vs. Ego in the current guide. When the new 46th Edition is released, they might change it for this issue.

They are right in that this is the first battle between Thor and Ego the Living Planet. They first meet in issue #132 obviously.

Not an overly expensive comic yet in some NM grades. A CGC 9.6 NM+ copy sold in April for $364, and there are rumors Ego is suppose to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

So far there are two Elders confirmed in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. Thor #133 has the cover date of October, 1966.

2nd appearance of the Collector

As far as I know, this is the 2nd appearance of the Collector even if no one is noting it as such currently. I think Overstreet and CGC only notes it as a Collector appearance currently, and CGC notes that it has an ad for Iron Man #1 & Sub-Mariner #1.

In this 2nd appearance, the Collector comes back to once again collect the Avengers. This time he's got the Mighty Thor on his side since he made the Thunder God drink an obedience potion.

Avengers #51 has the cover date of April, 1968.

THOR #155
2nd cameo appearance of Ego the Living Planet

If we're going by today's standards of appearances, Thor #155 has a one panel cameo of Ego the Living Planet. I'm noting it a 2nd cameo appearance, but it could just be considered a cameo and nothing more. I wouldn't get all excited about it either way.

As far as I know, no one is noting the 2nd appearance of Ego and the only character I can think of at the top of my head that has been designated a "2nd cameo appearance" is Darkseid. So take the notation here about this issue being labeled a 2nd cameo appearance in the future with a grain of salt.

It may just stay an "Ego appearance" or an "Ego cameo". Who knows? Thor #155 has the cover date of August, 1968.

THOR #160
2nd brief appearance of Ego the Living Planet?
1st meeting of Ego & Galactus
1st battle between Ego & Galactus

In the intro splash page within Thor #134, which also has the 1st appearance of the High Evolutionary, it shows Galactus saying that he must venture into the Black Galaxy to eat up whatever he can. The Black Galaxy is where we first find Ego in Thor #132.

In this issue Galactus finally makes it the Black Galaxy and confronts Ego the Living Planet. Good ole Galactus and Ego have a brief conversation about who is more powerful and then they begin to prove it.

Thor #160 is the 1st time Ego and Galactus meet and brawl. Ego shows up in 5 panels and on three pages in this issue. One of those pages is a glorious full page piece of art as you'll see below and it depicts the two cosmic being's first meeting.

The meeting erupts into a battle between the two, and the two strips above are on the same page. The bottom panels are on a different page and ends the story for this issue. The story and battle will continue in the next issue of Thor.

Since other appearances have been labeled "brief" for 6 panels and 3 pages, I'll go by those examples.

Thor #160 has the cover date of January, 1969.

THOR #161
2nd appearance of Ego the Living Planet?
Ego vs. Galactus continues
1st meeting and battle between Thor & Galactus

Ego shows up in 8 panels in this issue and on five pages. One of them is not clear since Galactus is pummeling him with meteors or whatever. No idea if this is enough for a full appearance or not, so just gonna label it a 2nd appearance.

So Ego and Galactus continue their battle with each other, and it appears Galactus is getting the upper hand on the Living Planet. That's until Thor comes in and battles Galactus for the first time.

This issue does hold the 1st published time readers see Thor and Galactus cross paths in comics. There's another unclear panel of Ego as well. Galactus hurls the Thunder God and Ego moves himself so that Thor lands on the surface of the Living Planet.

On the surface of Ego, Thor then transfers energy from his hammer and blasts Galactus. The Eater of Worlds tucks tail and runs.

Saving Ego's ass, the Living Planet thanks Thor and grants him and his companions sanctuary as they are marooned on Ego. Thor #161 has the cover date of February, 1969.

1st brief appearance of Grandmaster?
1st brief appearance of Squadron Sinister

Like the Collector and Ego, the Grandmaster's first debut did not mention anything about the Elders of the Universe and the concept had not been given birth just yet. Grandmaster shows up in 6 panels and on four pages in this issue.
In this issue, the Grandmaster pits the Avengers against his league of champions known as the Squadron Sinister. This team consisting of Hyperion, Dr. Spectrum, Nighthawk, and Whizzer was modeled off DC's Justice League of America.

Hyperion was a homage to Superman, Nighthawk modeled off of Batman, Dr. Spectrum is a Green Lantern homage, and the Whizzer was Marvel's version of the Flash. The Squadron Sinister show up in two panels, but one of the panels of them is at a far distance and they're all in shadow.

Don't know if that really counts. The last panel of the story clearly shows them though. The Squadron Sinister and the Grandmaster were both created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema.

The Grandmaster is a cosmic game player who has the obsession of pitting two teams against each other. Jeff Goldblum has been cast to play the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers #69 has the cover date  of  October, 1969.

1st full or 2nd app. Grandmaster?
1st full appearance of Squadron Sinister
Origin of Squadron Sinister
1st full appearance of Nighthawk

The Grandmaster might make his 1st full appearance or 2nd appearance in Avengers #70. He shows up in 9 panels and 6 pages. 

This issue has the members of the Avengers battle the members of the Squadron Sinister. Most members of the Squadron Sinister didn't have too many appearances in later comics. Nighthawk is one of the exceptions.

They did battle the Defenders as well, and Nighthawk changed his ways and became one of the good guys eventually.  Grandmaster appears in the next issue of the Avengers as well, but not sure how often he appears. Issue #71 may be his 2nd appearance or simply a cameo. Not entirely sure.

So far, CCG nor Overstreet is noting  the Grandmaster's 1st or 2nd appearance. Avengers #69 is noted as a 1st brief appearance by Overstreet and a 1st cameo appearance by CGC. Avengers #70 is noted by CGC as the origin of the Squadron Sinister, and Overstreet notes issue #70 as the first full appearance of Nighthawk.

Sellers are aware of issue #69 being the 1st appearance of Grandmaster and are starting to note it on eBay. However, issue #69 just might be a 1st brief appearance. Will have to see how that unfolds in the future.

Avengers #70 has the cover date of November, 1969.

When it comes to Ego's 2nd appearances,  I am definitely no expert in what current standards of today constitutes a brief, first, or first full appearance.

I'm actually lightly poking fun at the jumbled mess of Darkseid's appearances since he has quite a few cameos in-between what's considered a 1st full and 2nd full appearance. I'm not taking it all that seriously though, and it's somewhat the same with the Grandmaster

Not sure if 6 panels on four pages constitutes a minor 1st or 1st full appearance or not. Gambit's 1st appearance in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 has him in about 6 panels on 5 pages and that's considered a minor appearance in Overstreet.

Depends on what you constitute an appearance whether it's a cameo, 3 panels, 2 pages, 8 panels, 4 pages or whatever. If so, then just disregard what I've noted Ego's 2nd appearances and Grandmaster's 1st appearances and number them accordingly to your perception

However, CGC has put their stamp on Ego's 1st cameo appearance and 1st full appearance. I think Overstreet will follow suit eventually.

Grandmaster will be in Thor: Ragnarok and played by Jeff Goldblum, so perhaps these Elders will be expanded upon when it comes to the Marvel/Disney cinematic universe. I don't think the first appearances of the Collector, Grandmaster and Ego ever establish that they're part of the Elders of the Universe. Ego is referred to as a Bioverse in his earliest appearances. 

Part 2 is ready so just click the link to continue. Have a good one all and see ya soon.