This is just a bit of silliness, if you’re into that sort of thing, like me. I’ve been reading Secret Empire and am enjoying it well enough. I think it’s stretched a little thin, but that’s not so bad. Anyway, I’m writing today to reveal a nifty little cameo in the latest issue from last week. It’s the sort of cameo that makes me really wonder what happens behind the scenes at Marvel Comics.
How popular did they hope Mosaic would be when they decided to give him a role in Secret Empire?
Mosaic, if you don’t remember, is a new Inhuman character who got his own ongoing solo comic late last year. Marvel (and DC, for that matter) doesn’t really hand out ongoing solo comics to brand new, original characters, but something about Mosaic seemed strong enough to Marvel that they gave him the greenlight.
The comic was cancelled by issue #8.
As the foremost internet authority on Mosaic, I consider myself one of his biggest fans. So I giggled a little bit when I saw him randomly pop up in Secret Empire #7. Writer Nick Spencer introduced a few issues ago the idea that Steve Rogers and HYDRA had this mysterious old man in a hospital bed as a captive. Who was this old man? What secret did he hold that would be key to the Black Widow’s efforts to stop Captain America?
Welp, turns out the old man was a prison for Mosaic, and Natasha sets him free and he immediately helps her take out the guards surrounding Cap.
It’s a great little cameo for Mosaic! But where’d it come from? The Mosaic comic was cancelled by the May issue, around the time Secret Empire was just starting up. Plus, a Big Event like Secret Empire is planned years in advance. So writer Nick Spencer clearly planned this Mosaic cameo a long time ago, long before his series was cancelled.
So was Marvel expecting Mosaic to be a runaway success, and wanted to give him a timely cameo in Secret Empire? That sounds a little tragic…
Still, I’m glad to see they haven’t given up on Mosaic yet! Hang in there, buddy!
One of my favorite tropes in all of fiction is Evil Versus Oblivion, wherein a super-villain is a reasonable enough person that they willingly side with the heroes when there’s a bigger, more dangerous threat. Doctor Doom, Magneto and the Kingpin do it a lot, offering aid and resources to heroes when someone like Onslaught comes along and threatens to destroy all existence.
This past week, in the pages of Uncanny Avengers, writer Jim Zub and artist Kim Jacinto (with some assists) brought this trope to life with one of my favorite super-villains, a villain I like especially because he’s a reasonable guy.
SPOILERS for Uncanny Avengers #24 and #25.
I love the Shocker because he’s a working class, ordinary sort of crook who just wants to make some money. He doesn’t have an intense, personal hatred of Spider-Man, he’s not consumed with the desire for revenge against the wall-crawler, and he’s not just crazy and evil. He’s just a guy with some special tools that he uses to try to steal money.
And he was trying to loot the Gold Reserve with another favorite villain of mine, Scorpia, when they’re discovered by Rogue. They’re all in Manhattan during Secret Empire, wherein the evil Captain America has created a Darkforce Dimension bubble around the whole island. Monsters of all shapes and sizes are descending on the island and interrupt the villains’ looting.
Then it’s up to Rogue to convince Shocker and Scorpia to join her in fighting for their lives and stopping the monsters!
This is literally plucked from my dream journal of comic book happenings. The Shocker being used in an Evil Versus Oblivion moment? That is what I want from comics. It’s like Zub reached into my brain and picked the absolute perfect character for this moment.
Granted, Shocker doesn’t go full hero — though while we’re on the topic, I think he’d be a great addition to the Uncanny Avengers. Shocker and Scorpia aren’t big on helping Rogue stop monsters, but they’re still involved.
And that’s enough for me. I don’t read Uncanny Avengers and I’m avoiding most Secret Empire tie-ins, but when a writer I like seems to literally read my mind and make my comic book wishes come true, I gotta respect that and buy some new comics!
Also, I am now totally ‘shipping Shocker and Scorpia. So that’s a thing.
Double also, this almost makes up for Zub killing off Mach X a couple weeks ago. Almost.
I like the Marvel superhero Stingray. He’s a cool guy. Probably my favorite Avenger of all time. And he’s so obscure, he just doesn’t pop up all that often. When he does, I like to take note of it, because this is my blog, and I’m free to make wildly uninteresting (except to a few people) posts on it.
In Secret Empire #5, which came out a week or two ago, but which I only just read, Stingray shows up in charge of the shields at the resistance’s secret base. He apparently made a brief appearance in Secret Empire #1, but I guess I missed it. No matter, though, I’m fully on board the Stingray Watch now!
I’ll let you all know if and when he shows up again. Maybe he won’t. Maybe they’ll kill him. I don’t know, but I do care.
Stingray rules! I’m glad he’s not a HYDRA fascist!
If you haven’t heard the news yet this week, the latest issue of Batman has a pretty massive, life-altering cliffhanger ending on the last page. It’s the sort of big, momentous event that could change the entire course of a character’s life. It definitely has that effect on people in the real world.
But this is comic books we’re talking about here. I don’t really know if the fan response has been positive or negative, but I want to take a moment to explain my current thoughts on these sorts of big changes.
Will this new change be a permanent fixture in Batman’s life going forward? What about Captain America being a fascist in Secret Empire? Or what about that time Doctor Octopus swapped brains with Peter Parker and became the Superior Spider-Man? Personally, I think it all fits together in the general understanding of comic book fluidity.
Join me after the jump to find out exactly what Batman has done now, along with my thoughts on comic book story permanence and why everybody should just calm down.
It’s happened again, folks! As we all know, whenever Marvel launches a new Big Event Crossover, somebody’s got to die. They’ve got plenty of characters that can be used as cannon fodder, and many of them are some of my favorite comic book characters. That’s what happens when you have a special place in your heart for C, D and Z-list superheroes.
In the last big event, Inhumans vs. X-Men, it was my all-time favorite comic book character who bit the dust: Madrox the Multiple Man.
Madrox died in the prologue to the main event, making it sting just that little bit more.
And sure enough, with Secret Empire kicking off this week, another one of my favorite C-list comic book characters has been killed off during the prologue. Gosh darnit!
Who bit the big one? Who has Marvel carelessly cast aside in the name of having casualties? Join me after the jump to find out! SPOILERS, obviously.