Marvel Universe Relaunch!

In my previous post, I suggested that the time had come for Marvel to reboot their comic book universe. Rather than start completely from scratch, though, I thought Marvel would do better with a starting point developed by updating where the Original Marvel Universe stood just before the Fantastic Four first gained their superpowers. Thus, I outlined the “current” circumstances of over 240 characters, which offered myriad tantalizing story possibilities. I thought this would serve as a firm foundation on which to rebuild a shared universe in the tradition started by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and all the others who contributed.

As I continued to think about it, I realized this was just the first step. As others have done, I came up with a plan to relaunch the entire line of Marvel Comics as a response to DC’s recent “New 52” initiative. For what it’s worth, here’s how I would do it.

Fifty-two being an arbitrary number, and somewhat unwieldy, I would trim it down to forty titles a month, released ten per week. This isn’t too far off from Marvel’s current output of regular ongoing titles. Next, I felt variety was extremely important -- variety of subject matter, tone, genre -- which has been sorely lacking in the tunnel-vision strategy of mainstream comics for some time. This also keeps readers from feeling they need to buy all 40 titles to keep up with what’s going on. Some are more interconnected, more “plugged in” to the shared universe, than others. Some can easily stand alone, though all share common elements that reward taking a completist, or “big picture” approach to collecting. A “win-win” for everybody.

Also, many of the titles below would be designed to have a limited life-span, to be replaced by “all-new, all-different” properties after they’d run their course. This would help keep things fresh as the new Marvel Universe rocketed onwards and upwards.

If it were up to me, I would relaunch the Marvel Universe as follows:


1. Fantastic Four
While testing an experimental warp-drive spacecraft in high Earth orbit, Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Sue Storm, and her brother Johnny Storm are exposed to strange energies that transform them into something more than human. Celebrated as the Fantastic Four, they use their superpowers to explore the world’s most mysterious places, and battle whatever weird menaces they find there.

2. Spider-Man
High school student Peter Parker receives superhuman abilities in a bizarre laboratory accident, and does what any self-respecting teenager would do: he tries to cash in! Unfortunately, his show-biz career as the mysterious Spider-Man is cut short by personal tragedy, forcing Peter to learn a bitter lesson about responsibility. Desperate to earn money as a news photographer, Peter uses his Spider-Man identity to get spectacular shots of New York’s most infamous criminals, whom he invariably ends up fighting.

3. X-Men
Professor Charles Xavier has created a school for mutants, where he trains his first class of students in the use of their uncanny powers. Fearing persecution, the students have adopted the codenames Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Iceman, Beast, Banshee, Havok, and Polaris. Xavier dreams of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants, but realizes his students may have to fight for their place in a world that hates and fears them.

4. Iron Man
Tony Stark has felt like a target since his parents died under mysterious circumstances, leaving him in charge of the family business, an international technology firm. When he is nearly killed during a kidnapping scheme, Stark constructs an invincible suit of high-tech battle armor and swears he’ll never be vulnerable again.

5. Thor
Thor, son of Odin and prince of Asgard, has been banished to Earth because of his bad attitude. Good for Asgard, bad for Earth. This is one thunder god who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, least of all foolish mortals. His hair-trigger temper and unstoppable magic war-hammer spell trouble for anyone who gets in his way. But learning to be a better man is his only hope of returning home. The beautiful emergency-room doctor Jane Foster wants to help, but can she survive the chaos that surrounds Thor long enough to try?

6. Hulk
A laboratory accident turns withdrawn scientist Bruce Banner into the ultimate Jekyll & Hyde. His green-skinned alter-ego Hulk is a distorted mirror image: physically strong but morally weak, and may prove to be the most dangerous man on the planet. After Hulk makes a shambles of Banner’s life, the fugitive scientist goes on the run, trying to keep his inescapable “enemy within” from hurting anyone else.

7. Black Panther
The noble king of the prosperous African nation of Wakanda, T’Challa, the Black Panther, upholds his sacred duty to protect his people’s greatest treasure, the unique substance called vibranium. He’ll need all his intelligence, cunning, and fighting skills to fend off spies, mercenaries, and thieves from every corner of the globe. He soon discovers, however, that his greatest enemies may lurk within his own government.

8. Ant-Man & Wasp
Pym particles are the key to all superpowers, but only one man understands how they work: Dr. Henry Pym, the molecular biologist who discovered them. Of course he becomes a target for every terrorist group, subversive organization, and two-bit crook with delusions of grandeur. However, the wealthy young socialite Janet Van Dyne has taken a shine to Dr. Pym and is determined to keep him from meeting the same tragic fate suffered by her renowned scientist father. When Pym’s wife Maria is murdered by his enemies, he agrees to empower Van Dyne and himself to fight back. As Ant-Man and the Wasp, this unlikely couple finds action, adventure, and romance!

9. Black Widow
International superspy Natasha Romanova goes rogue when her handlers try to have her killed after a botched operation. She searches for allies she can trust while tracking down and getting revenge on the men who betrayed her.

10. Tales from the Swamp
An anthology of strange tales of suspense featuring a rotating cast of eccentrics in the steamy swamps of the southern United States. In the Florida everglades, disgraced biochemist Ted Sallis agrees to help Dr. Wilma Calvin re-develop the lost “super-soldier” serum of World War II, unaware that his sexy girlfriend, Ellen Brandt, is working for a subversive organization. Her meddling causes Sallis to be transformed into a terrifying monstrosity called the Man-Thing. Meanwhile, not far away, young sorceress Jennifer Kale explores the astonishing alternate worlds she finds within a spacetime rift called the Nexus of All Realities. Elsewhere, Jericho Drumm battles zombies in the bayous of New Orleans and southern Louisiana.


11. Doctor Strange
Master sorcerer Stephen Strange protects the earth from all manner of mystical menaces as he travels the world collecting occult artifacts. Whether he’s exploring mind-boggling alternate dimensions or fighting off demons and monsters, the dashing Doctor Strange knows how to use magic with style.

12. Hawkeye
Former carnival performer Clint Barton uses his unparalleled skill with a bow-and-arrow as a modern-day Robin Hood on the streets of Chicago. He is equally adept at busting corrupt corporations and protecting the people from street crime, all while living according to his mantra: free-wheeling, free-loving, and freeloading!

13. Logan
The Canadian secret agent known only as Logan is the best there is at what he does, and what he does is covert-ops! A mysterious experiment stripped him of his memories, but left him with an unbreakable skeleton and razor-sharp claws that can slice through anything. His most closely guarded secret is that he is a mutant with enhanced animal-like senses and the ability to rapidly heal any wound. The rough-and-tumble Logan frequently crosses paths with straight-shooting CIA agents Carol Danvers and Michael Rossi, as well as their gruff superior, Nick Fury, in the course of his globe-spanning missions.

14. Inhumans
Since the dawn of time, the Inhumans have dwelled apart from humanity in the lost city of Attilan, hidden deep in the Himalayas. Each member of their race possesses a devastating super-power, which makes ruling them a challenge for their young king, Black Bolt. Palace intrigue and Machiavellian machinations are the order of the day as Black Bolt pursues the beautiful princess Medusa while fending off his traitorous brother Maximus. But how long can the Inhumans hide their existence from the world outside?

15. Department H
As head of a secret project within the Canadian Ministry of Defense, James MacDonald Hudson has been tasked with creating the perfect superhero to protect his nation and its people. High-tech research & development, radical biochemical experiments, tracking down mutants, and even magic and mysticism are all fair game as Hudson and his team seek to accomplish their mission.

16. Ka-Zar
Since he was a boy, Kevin Plunder has been lost in the mysterious Savage Land at the bottom of the world. Now calling himself Ka-Zar, this brutal and savage young man sets out to conquer his jungle home before he is enslaved by its bloodthirsty inhabitants or eaten by its prehistoric flora and fauna. But the greatest threat of all may prove to come in the form of beautiful scientist Bobbi Morse, the last survivor of a doomed expedition who sees Ka-Zar as her only hope of getting home alive.

17. Mystique
Mutant shape-changer Raven Darkholme is perhaps the world’s most devastatingly effective covert operative, due to her ability to precisely mimic the appearance of anyone she meets. However, when she stumbles on a top-secret multinational initiative to build mutant-hunting robots called Sentinels, her priorities change. Raven begins investigating the Sentinel project while continuing her government missions, knowing that tipping her hand could make her lover, Irene Adler, a target.

18. Patsy Walker
Former reality-TV child-star Patsy Walker is having difficulty settling into life as a celebrity “has-been,” a process not made any easier by her vicious and demanding “stage mom,” Dorothy. Patsy’s sunny, Orange County lifestyle suddenly takes a dark and frightening turn when dabbling in the occult gets her involved with a mysterious orphan named Daimon Hellstrom.

19. Where Monsters Dwell
FBI agent Jimmy Woo takes the cases no one else will touch: crimes so gruesome they could only be committed by inhuman monsters. Jimmy has learned the hard way that humans are not necessarily at the top of the food chain, especially after the sun goes down.

20. Werewolf by Night
High school student Jake Russoff has a problem. He’s a werewolf. Luckily his mother, Laura, and his step-father, Philip, know all about it, because Jake’s father was a werewolf too, until the night a silver bullet brought him down. Jake has another problem: his annoying little sister Lyssa. She’s not a werewolf yet, but in a few years, who knows? Jake is ready to run away and lose himself in the Sierra Madre Mountains when he meets a mysterious teen beauty named Topaz Taboo, who tells him if he helps her find an ancient book of spells called the Darkhold, it contains the cure for his curse. Topaz then leads Jake into a dangerous world, where he finds there are worse things than being a werewolf.


21. Avengers
There are some menaces too great for any single superhero to withstand. Thus, Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, and Wasp band together as the Avengers. Their first mission leads them to recruit both the Black Panther and Hawkeye, as the renegade robot Ultron and its spectral android servant the Vision try to steal a sample of vibranium from the University of Chicago. A loose-knit, ever-changing membership roster allows the Avengers to respond to all manner of threats with just the right force. Captain America, the Black Widow, Hercules, and others soon join their ranks as well.

22. Sub-Mariner
Prince Namor is forced to leave his undersea kingdom of Atlantis to search the ocean depths for three ancient artifacts: Neptune’s Trident, the Sword of Kamuu, and the jewel known as the Eye of Zartra. However, the despotic warlord Krang is determined that Namor’s quest should fail. Mystery and adventure await as young Namor tries to prove himself worthy of being the one, true Sub-Mariner.

23. Captain Marvel
The world believes Captain Marvel to be one of its greatest superheroes. No one suspects he is really a spy for the galaxy-spanning Kree Empire. His mission is to test earth’s super-powered population, to determine who will be allowed to serve the Kree and who must be destroyed when their invasion armada eventually arrives. What better way to do that than to help superheroes battle supervillains? Only one thing threatens his mission: his own emerging sense of justice.

24. Magneto and the Brotherhood of Mutants
The mutant known as Magneto knows a war with mainstream humanity is inevitable, and it’s a war he is determined that mutants will win. As such, he has rallied a group of militant mutants to his cause: Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Mastermind, Toad, Pyro, Gypsy Moth, Mesmero, and Unus the Untouchable. Though strong-willed and fractious, Magneto believes they may be mutantkind’s last, best hope for survival.

25. Hercules
Bored with life in eternal Olympus, Hercules has defied the edict of his father Zeus and come to earth in search of adventure. His love of wine, women, and song quickly earns him as many admirers as do his amazing heroics. But he must stay one step ahead of the implacable Huntsman the gods have dispatched to drag Hercules home. Like all challenges, Hercules meets this one with a hearty laugh.

26. Sunfire
Teenaged Shiro Yoshida hates living in New York, but his father’s job at the United Nations gives him no choice. His attitude begins to change when he manifests mutant powers that enable him to fly and shoot flames from his body, inspiring him to become the brash superhero Sunfire.

27. Cable
The mysterious cyborg soldier-of-fortune known as Cable knows something bad is going to happen in the year 2025, because he’s traveled back in time to stop it. Unfortunately, he arrived twenty-five years early and has been forced to live in an era that seems very primitive to him, while trying to pick up the threads of his original mission. His inscrutable motives make Cable shockingly unpredictable as he tries to avert the coming global catastrophe.

28. Mantis
Though only a teenager, the girl called Mantis may be the world’s greatest practitioner of the martial arts, and she will need all of her skill as she leaves the temple of the Priests of Pama to search her native Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia for her missing father, a German mercenary named Brandt. Her unique philosophy makes Mantis an enigma to everyone she meets, from international financiers to drug-smugglers and pirates. But those who underestimate this young girl soon regret it.

29. Red Wolf
Will Talltrees joined the military to escape life on an Indian Reservation in Montana, and is now a member of Navy SEAL Team 11, performing special-ops missions around the globe. Will has a unique advantage over his fellow SEALs, though—the mystical entity Owayodata appears to him in the form of a red wolf to guide him in times of danger.

30. Tomb of Dracula
Dracula, Lord of Vampires, is revived after a century entombed in his castle in Transylvania, and is horrified to discover that the modern world has nearly wiped out all the other vampires. He sets out to rebuild his legions of the undead, despite the opposition of expert vampire hunters like the elderly Quincy Harker and his young assistant Rachel Van Helsing. Dracula’s personal code of honor and air of sophistication belie his ruthless, savage instincts, and he knows how to use the seductive power of evil to his advantage.


31. Captain America
The lost hero of World War II is found frozen solid in the Arctic, but miraculously revives upon being thawed out, due to the legendary “super-soldier” serum that made him the ultimate fighting man. Now a man out of time, Steve Rogers must find a place in this daunting world of the future, while bringing old-fashioned justice to criminals of every stripe.

32. Daredevil
Blind attorney Matt Murdock has made a reputation for himself with his skillful defense of super-villains who are brought to trial. However, using the hypersenses he developed in a freak childhood accident, he has also become the masked vigilante Daredevil, to ensure that justice is done, whether in the courtroom or on the streets.

33. Ghost Rider
For most people, the Ghost Rider is a legend they tell around campfires, a frightening skull-headed demon said to haunt the loneliest back roads of America. But for Johnny Blaze, the legend is horrifyingly real, for Blaze is the Ghost Rider, cursed to wander the highways and byways of North America on a flaming motorcycle, searching for evildoers to punish with his soul-searing hellfire.

34. Falcon
Los Angeles street gang member Sam Wilson turned to crime in the wake of his parents’ unsolved murders, but now his 13-year-old nephew Jim has convinced him to make up for his past misdeeds. Adopting the masked identity of the Falcon, Sam uses his insider’s knowledge to thwart the crimes of both his and rival gangs. It’s a dangerous game as Sam must protect his secret identity at all costs, or see young Jim pay the price.

35. Punisher
Frank Castle returns from his tour of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps only to witness his wife and daughter gunned down by mobsters. He dedicates himself to a one-man war on crime, using all his military skill and hardware to become the fearsome Punisher.

36. Moon Knight
Marc Spector is a special-ops commando for the United States Marine Corps with a gift for unconventional warfare. Deployed to hotspots around the world, Spector battles terrorists, insurgents, traffickers, and anyone else who threatens America or its interests. His personal code of honor and preference for striking by night have earned him the codename Moon Knight.

37. Nekra
Nobody knows the power of hate better than Nekra Sinclair, an albino African-American goth chick who also happens to be a mutant. When she whips herself into a frenzy of negative emotions, Nekra becomes super-strong and invulnerable, as well as savagely violent, which serves her well living on the streets of Los Angeles. Her only friend is Jerome Beechman, a boy who looks like an ape but can bend women to his will using his mutant pheromones. Life is a bitter struggle for survival for these two teenaged outcasts, who are determined to live free or die.

38. S.H.I.E.L.D.
As head of the new clandestine agency S.H.I.E.L.D., Alan Chamberlain is responsible for keeping America’s ever-growing superhuman population under control, and he’s going to do it by the book. Unfortunately, the terrorist group HYDRA, led by Wolfgang Von Strucker, has other ideas, and they’ve got Chamberlain in their sights. Besieged on all sides, will S.H.I.E.L.D. survive the forces seeking to tear it apart?

39. Masters of Evil
From his hidden lair in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, mercenary Helmut Zemo has decided to create an unstoppable army of super-villains. He’ll use any means necessary to imbue his unscrupulous recruits with the requisite superpowers, which leads them on a worldwide campaign of murder and extortion. With Nathan Garrett, Erik Josten, Sergei Kravinoff, Karla Sofen, Elihas Starr, and Calvin Zabo willing to do whatever it takes, Zemo’s Masters of Evil quickly become a force to be reckoned with.

40. Sword of Atlantis
In the twilight years of the legendary Age of Atlantis, some 20,000 years ago, Lemurian princess Zartra escapes from her Deviant captors and battles her way to freedom. With the help of the sorceress Zhered-Na, she seeks to forge an alliance with Prince Kamuu of Atlantis, the only kingdom still unconquered by the subhuman Deviants. Encountering vampires, werewolves, and the enigmatic Eternals, Zartra relies on her warrior skills to get her safely from one adventure to the next.

Of course, even the best approaches can be wrecked by poor execution, such as “writing for the trade,” and whether the current editors and creators at Marvel would be capable of turning around the company’s declining fortunes is open for debate. I might just have to fire everybody and get all new people in there to make my idea work. Well, almost everybody.


Reboot the Marvel Universe!

With DC Comics hyping the upcoming relaunch of their entire line of superhero titles, perhaps this would be the ideal time to reboot the Marvel Universe as well. After 50 years, Marvel continuity is a big mess, and rather than just piling on more events, more revelations, and more retcons, I think they should just take the opportunity to chuck it all out and start over again. Marvel actually considered taking such drastic action around the time of their 25th anniversary, but decided against it. Curiously, DC did do a major continuity reboot at that time, spearheaded in their mega-crossover series Crisis on Infinite Earths. Well, I think the day has finally come for Marvel to follow suit. In 2011, the stars have aligned and historical patterns have overlapped, making now the perfect moment to forge a brand-new Marvel Universe.

Rather than start with a completely blank slate, however, I would advise building the new Marvel Universe on a solid foundation based on the Original Marvel Universe, and structuring it to forego the infamous “sliding time-scale” to proceed instead in “real-time.” Forget “the Illusion of Change” and let the characters grow and evolve so they remain fresh and interesting as the years go by. If it was good enough for Stan Lee in the 1960s, it should be good enough for Marvel in the 21st century.

In order to be as helpful as possible, I present a handy “Who’s Who” guide to the new versions of the characters, where we would find them today, and some of the backstory that the new continuity can germinate from.

It would not be necessary to force the new Marvel Universe to develop strictly along the lines chosen by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (and all those who followed in their footsteps). Instead, take the information below and let your imagination run wild!

The New Marvel Universe—2011

Aarkus was a green-skinned alien from another dimension who was drawn to earth in 1940 by Dr. Enoch Mason, a scientist. Dubbed “The Vision” by the press, Aarkus fought crime until becoming disgusted with the human race. In 1943, he returned to his home dimension and has not been seen since.

St. John Allerdyce is an Australian journalist with a couple of novels to his credit. He is also secretly a mutant with the ability to control and manipulate fire.

David Angar is a radical social activist in San Francisco, California.

Amara Aquilla is the 5-year-old daughter of Senator Lucius Antonius Aquilla in Nova Roma, a lost colony of the Roman Empire hidden deep within the Amazon rainforest. Amara is a mutant with as-yet latent geothermal powers.

Todd Arliss is a 19-year-old Olympic swimmer from Pasadena, California. His older sister Diane thinks he is selfish and spoiled.

Bruce Banner is a 31-year-old nuclear scientist from Dayton, Ohio, who currently works for the United States Defense Department at an Air Force Base in New Mexico designing a new weapon powered by gamma radiation. In 1986, his mother was murdered by his father, who was subsequently committed to a mental institution, leaving Bruce severely traumatized. He was taken in by his aunt, and in 1998 Banner enrolled in Pennsylvania State University’s pre-med program, where he befriended a Canadian student named Walter Langkowski. After a year, however, Banner transferred to New Mexico State University to major in nuclear physics. There, he became roommates with Peter Corbeau, another science major. In 2003, Banner started graduate school at Cal-Tech. He took his job with the Defense Department in 2008 and then met the base commander, General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross, a veteran of the Iraq War, and the general’s introverted daughter Betty, who is now 22. Banner finds Betty attractive, but is too withdrawn – and too intimidated by her father – to pursue the relationship.

Betty Barstow was the secretary to a private detective named Dan Hurley. In 1941, she became a costumed crimefighter known as “The Silver Scorpion,” relying on her martial-arts skills. The following year, however, the mob discovered her secret identity and murdered her and Hurley.

Clint Barton is a 20-year-old archery expert who performs at a circus under the name “Hawkeye the Marksman.” He and his older brother Barney were orphaned in 1999, and after five years in foster care in Iowa, they ran away with a traveling carnival. While Clint worked with circus performers Jacques Duquesne and Buck Chisholm to develop his skills with a bow & arrow, Barney drifted into a life of petty larceny. In 2009, Clint became very disillusioned when he discovered Duquesne stealing from the circus to pay off a gambling debt. Duquesne tried to kill him and then fled the country, but Clint survived thanks to Barney’s intervention. After recovering from his injuries, Clint returned to work and soon replaced Duquesne as the star attraction.

Georges Batroc is a French mercenary and a master of savate, a form of kickboxing.

Jeanne-Marie Beaubier is a 16-year-old student at Madame DuPont’s School for Girls in LaVelle, Quebec. She was separated from her twin brother Jean-Paul after their parents were killed when he was adopted by their mother’s cousin, RCMP officer Louis Martin. The Martins could not afford to keep Jeanne-Marie as well, so they placed her in an orphanage run by nuns. After Martin was transferred to northern Quebec, the family lost contact with Jeanne-Marie and she grew up unaware of her brother’s existence. In 2009, the harsh conditions at the school led Jeanne-Marie to attempt suicide by jumping off the roof. However, her mutant powers of supersonic flight emerged and saved her life. Believing it to be a sign of divine intervention, Jeanne-Marie told the nuns what had happened, only to be punished for blasphemy. This caused Jeanne-Marie to suffer a psychotic break, entering a fugue state in which an uninhibited alternate personality took over for several days. The further punishment she received as a result caused Jeanne-Marie to repress this second personality, and she has become more withdrawn than before.

Quentin Beck is a disaffected special-effects designer and stunt man working in Hollywood.

Jerome Beechman is a 17-year-old mutant who began to resemble a mandrill when his powers manifested at puberty. However, he also gives off powerful pheromones that allow him to control women. A runaway, he lives life on the streets with his partner, a mutant “goth chick” named Nekra Sinclair.

Tania Belinskya is a 27-year-old medical doctor in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Black Widow was a psychic who called herself “Claire Voyant” until the demon Mephisto manipulated her into becoming an immortal killer who made evil men her victims. She disappeared during World War II and has not been seen since.

Alison Blaire is a 10-year-old girl from Long Island with latent mutant abilities, who dreams of becoming a pop singer and achieving international fame and fortune.

Johnny Blaze is a 17-year-old orphan from Waukegan, Illinois, who lives with his father’s old Army buddy and business partner, Craig “Crash” Simpson. Blaze’s father and Simpson started a motorcycle stunt show in 2002, but Barton Blaze was killed attempting a spectacular leap. It took two years for Johnny to overcome his fear of motorcycles and begin learning stunt-riding techniques alongside his foster sister, Roxanne Simpson. However, in 2009, Johnny Blaze crashed his bike while trying a dangerous pyrotechnic stunt, and his foster mother was fatally injured when the bike’s gas tank exploded. On her deathbed, she made Blaze promise to never ride in the stunt show, and he has tried to honor that promise ever since, though “Crash” and Roxanne both think he is just a coward.

Emil Blonsky is a soldier and intelligence operative in the Croatian Army.

Tandy Bowen is a 7-year-old girl living with her divorced mother in Shaker Heights, Ohio, who dreams of being a dancer when she grows up.

Brian Braddock and Elizabeth Braddock are 15-year-old twins going to school in the English county of Essex. Their older brother Jamie is a famous racecar driver, and their father, James Braddock, is a noted scientist. The children are unaware that their father is from the dimension of Otherworld and is an associate of the wizard Merlyn.

Boris Bullski is an officer in the Ukrainian army, known for his harsh and belligerent manner.

Carl Burgess was a brilliant young District Attorney in New York City who, in 1940, became a costumed crimefighter known as “The Falcon.” However, after only a few weeks, he was beaten to death by a gang of hoods.

William Burnside discovered the formula for Abraham Erskine’s super-soldier serum during the Korean War, and offered it to the U.S. government in exchange for the chance to be the new Captain America. Burnside underwent plastic surgery and legally changed his name to Steve Rogers in preparation for his role. However, the war ended before the project could be completed, so the government cancelled the deal. Rogers, as he was now called, became a history teacher and met another Captain America fan, Jack Monroe, among his students. When a new Red Skull threatened the United Nations building in 1955, Rogers and Monroe injected themselves with his super-soldier serum and became the new Captain America and Bucky to fight him. They continued going after communist spies and other criminals until flaws in the formula caused them to suffer psychotic breakdowns in 1956. The pair began targeting anyone they considered not “pure-blooded” Americans, and were subsequently arrested by the FBI and exposed as frauds. After serving his sentence, Burnside/Rogers was institutionalized and died in a fire in 1979.

Cable is a cyborg from the distant future marooned in the present day. He makes his living as a soldier-of-fortune and keeps his true identity a secret.

Davy Cannon is a minor crook who uses his mutant ability to spin at high speeds to help him commit his robberies and elude capture.

Jerry Carstairs was a ham radio operator who tried to become a costumed crimefighter called “The Thunderer” in 1941. That winter, though, he slipped off an icy roof and fell to his death.

Sharon Carter is a 23-year-old from Richmond, Virginia who just started her career at the Central Intelligence Agency. She is inspired by the World War II exploits of her grandmother, Peggy Carter.

Sean Cassidy is a 31-year-old detective in the New York Police Department. Born and raised in Ireland, he started his career with Interpol but resigned in 2008 after his wife Maeve died while he on an undercover assignment. Wanting to distance himself from painful memories, he immigrated to the United States. Since reaching puberty in 1994, he has possessed the mutant ability to create powerful sonic waves with his voice, but not wanting to be thought a “freak,” he keeps this power a secret. Cassidy is unaware that he has a 4-year-old daughter called Theresa Rourke being raised by his cousin Tom, a known criminal.

Frank Castle is a 24-year-old soldier in the United States Marine Corps serving in Afghanistan. His wife and child live in New York City.

Issac Christians is a 59-year-old student of the occult who serves as mayor of his hometown of Christiansboro, Virginia. After fighting in the Vietnam War, he refused to return to the United States for many years, wandering Southeast Asia and India to study with mystics and sorcerers. Eventually, his family responsibilities drew him home, but he has never gotten over his youthful resentments.

Maximilian Q. Coleridge is a 22-year-old college student who has majored in law and criminology, having dedicated his life to fighting crime after his parents were gunned down by crooks in 1999. After graduation, he plans to travel to Nepal to study the martial and mystic arts.

Rusty Collins is a 5-year-old boy with latent mutant abilities living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Commandos were four costumed superhuman adventurers who teamed up in 1993 to handle missions too dangerous for conventional law-enforcement or intelligence operatives. The Crimson Commando, Stonewall, Super Sabre, and the Yankee Clipper meted out their own harsh brand of justice until the Yankee Clipper was killed in action a year later. Her death led her partners to develop deep feelings of bitterness toward the world. They offered their services to the government following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as special agents against terrorism. Knowing the trio were loose cannons, the government declined the offer and persuaded them to retire from crime-fighting. The disgruntled adventurers retreated to a private estate in New England, and have not been seen since.

Curt Connors is a herpetologist who lost his right arm to a grenade while fighting in the Iraq War. In his Florida laboratory he is attempting to develop a serum to rejuvenate his lost limb, as many lizards do.

Peter Corbeau is a 32-year-old Nobel-Prize-winning scientist known for his work studying the sun. In 1999 he met Bruce Banner when they became roommates at New Mexico State University. His research on solar radiation has recently led him to correspond with Charles Xavier, an expert on mutations.

Roberto da Costa is a 4-year-old boy with latent mutant abilities living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Carl “Crusher” Creel is a hardened criminal doing time in the New York State Penitentiary.

Lorna Dane is a 12-year-old girl in San Francisco who was adopted by her aunt and uncle after her parents were killed in an accident. She possesses latent mutant powers of manipulating magnetic fields. Though her hair is naturally green, her parents have been dying it brown since she was a small child.

Drew Daniels is a 20-year-old cattle hand from Amarillo, Texas.

Carol Danvers is a 26-year-old intelligence operative for the United States Air Force who grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. She has been working with her partner, Colonel Michael Rossi, since he began training her in 2003. In the last year she has started working occasionally with Nick Fury of the CIA and a Canadian intelligence agent known only as Logan.

Raven Darkholme is a mutant with the ability to alter her appearance. Her natural form features indigo skin, yellow eyes, and blood-red hair. She uses her abilities to earn a living as a covert operative.

Wilbur Day is an inventor and engineer from New York City, who is getting tired of being pushed around.

Esteban Diablo is an alchemist who has been artificially extending his life since the mid-9th century. Though born in Spain, he had long been ruling a small province of Transylvania until 1926, when his subjects revolted and sealed him inside a massive crypt. He waited several years for his lover, Lillian von Loont, to free him, but she never did. His elixir of immortality has kept him alive ever since, though he remains hopelessly trapped.

Bruce Dickson was a scientist exploring the Himalayas in 1940 when he stumbled upon the lost civilization of Kalahia. The denizens of this realm used their mysterious technology to grant Dickson the ability to make his body paper-thin. He returned to America and became the costumed crimefighter known as “The Thin Man.” In 1942, he was a founding member of the Liberty Legion, which formed in order to rescue the Invaders from the Red Skull. He remained with the group until they disbanded after the war. He returned to Kalahia, only to find it had been destroyed by an old enemy, Agent Axis. Abandoning his heroic identity, Dickson spent the next forty years trying to track down Agent Axis and get revenge. He finally accomplished his goal in 1989, smothering his elderly foe to death. Dickson was charged with murder, but died before being sentenced to prison.

Max Dillon is a lineman for the New York Power Authority.

Victor von Doom is the 39-year-old dictator of the nation of Latveria, located in the Balkans. Known to his subjects as “Doctor Doom,” he rules through fear and the power granted him by his highly sophisticated suit of armor. The rest of the world, however, is unaware of Doom’s coup d’état and thinks Latveria is still a constitutional monarchy ruled by a prime minister. After growing up in Europe, Doom enrolled at the State University of New York in 1995, where he became rivals with another science major, Reed Richards. Doom was convinced he could develop a technology to contact his mother’s spirit in hell. Two years later, Doom was expelled after an unauthorized experiment he was conducting exploded. Seeking a mystical means to contact his dead mother, Doom traveled to Tibet, where a group of reclusive monks provided him with his first suit of armor. The mask was still red hot when Doom put it on, thus destroying his already scarred face. Some years later, Doom returned to America and engaged in a secret collaboration with Nathaniel Richards, Reed’s father, to build a time machine. Doom believed he could use the time machine to cross the dimensional barrier and reach his mother. In 2005, Richards succeeded in making the device operational, but was lost in an alternate universe. Within two years, Doom had built a copy of the device for himself and used it to acquire knowledge, wealth, and technology from the past and the future. Finally, in 2009, he seized the throne of his native country to establish a power base for his nefarious schemes.

Lemuel Dorcas is a marine biologist based in Florida, interested in the potential of generic engineering.

Heather Douglas is a 17-year-old native of Los Angeles being trained in the martial arts by a group of Eternals living on Saturn’s moon Titan. The Eternals are also helping Douglas develop her latent psionic powers, which has enabled her to convince herself that she is a goddess. She was taken in by the Eternals in 1998 after a renegade member of their society, Thanos, killed her parents while on a reconnaissance mission to Earth. Unknown to Heather, the Eternals changed her dead father, Arthur Douglas, into a tremendously powerful being called Drax the Destroyer, who has been battling Thanos ever since.

Bobby Drake is a 13-year-old boy with latent mutant powers living with his parents in Fort Washington, New York.

Jessica Drew was born in 1978, but due to radiation poisoning, she was placed in suspended animation in 1981 by her scientist father, Jonathan Drew, and his colleague Herbert Wyndham at their Citadel of Science on Wundagore Mountain in the tiny Balkan nation of Transia. Though she was meant to be in stasis for only a few months while an experimental treatment based on spider venom took effect, events have conspired to keep her there up to the present day. Since being placed in her stasis tube, Drew has aged at an extremely slow rate.

Anthony Druid is a 38-year-old researcher of the occult and a master hypnotist.

Jericho Drumm is a 31-year-old psychiatrist who was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He left the island in 1997 to attend college in the United States and has not returned. His twin brother, Daniel Drumm, has become the Houngan Supreme of the island of Haiti, and is known there by the title Brother Voodoo.

Zelda DuBois is a snake charmer from Darlington, South Carolina, who recently hooked up with Maynard Tiboldt’s crooked circus.

Fred J. Dukes is a mutant from Lubbock, Texas, who works at a traveling carnival, performing a routine based on his enormous girth, invulnerability, and ability to make himself immovable. Unaware of the scientific explanation for his strange appearance and abilities, Dukes considers himself a freak of nature.

Paul Duval is a chemist from Fontainebleau, France.

Sybil Dvorak is a 14-year-old girl from Focşani, Romania, whose mutant powers of telekinesis have recently manifested. Living with a Romani tribe, Dvorak is training herself in using her powers to manipulate fabrics and other “soft” materials.

Norbert Ebersol is an unscrupulous engineer and mechanic from Dayton, Ohio, who works odd jobs while peddling his inventions to the criminal underworld.

Electro was a famous robot built in 1940 by Professor Philo Zog, who used it as the main weapon of the crimebusting operation he organized and financed. A year later, Zog and most of his agents were killed when Nazi spies attempted to steal Electro for use by the Third Reich. The robot was destroyed and Zog’s laboratory exploded, burning up all his blueprints and research notes.

The Enclave is a group of four world-renowned scientists who began faking their own deaths in 1993 in order to withdraw from the world to pursue their shared goal of ruling the Earth. Maris Morlak, Carlo Zota, Wladyslav Shinski, and Jerome Hamilton have established a research installation on an island in the North Atlantic, completed in 2003, which they call the Beehive. Since then they have labored to discover a process by which to create artificial life in order to engineer a slave race to fight their wars of conquest for them.

Jacqueline Falsworth-Crichton is an 86-year-old English aristocrat who fought with the Invaders during World War II as the super-speedster known as “Spitfire.” Her father, Montgomery Falsworth, was the costumed commando called Union Jack during the First World War, an identity her brother Brian inherited in the war against Hitler. She gave up her costumed identity at the war’s end in 1945, and by the end of the decade her powers had completely faded away. In 1951 she married the British nobleman Lord Crichton, and their son, Kenneth Crichton, is now 59 years old. As far as anyone knows, Lady Crichton is the last surviving superhero from World War II.

Montgomery Falsworth became the first superhero of the 20th century when in 1914 the British government asked him to become a costumed commando called “Union Jack.” Later in World War I, he joined with other masked men to form Freedom’s Five, including the Phantom Eagle, Sir Steel & Silver Squire, and La Chevalier Cramoisi. Their greatest foe was Falsworth’s own brother, a vampire who called himself Baron Blood. When the war ended in 1918, Falsworth retired his costumed identity and settled down to raise a family, having two children, Brian and Jacqueline. In 1939, Falsworth and his son had many bitter arguments about Nazi Germany, which led Brian to go to Germany with his friend Roger Aubrey. When war was declared in September, the young men were arrested and sent to prison camps. In 1942, Falsworth and his daughter befriended the Invaders, which led Falsworth to don his Union Jack costume for a final showdown with Baron Blood. However, Falsworth’s legs were crushed during the battle, leaving him confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Jacqueline then joined the Invaders as Spitfire, and they soon learned that Brian had been fighting the Nazis inside Germany as the Mighty Destroyer. Brian then joined the Invaders as the new Union Jack, and Aubrey assumed the role of the Destroyer. In 1945, Baron Blood was at last destroyed, and his remains were entombed in the Tower of London. Falsworth and his family retired to their country estate, and in 1952 Jacqueline gave him a grandson, Kenneth Crichton. Sadly, a year later, Brian was killed in an automobile accident. Montgomery Falsworth died in 1981 while fighting a resurrected Baron Blood. He was 90 years old.

Wilson Fisk is a New York City crime boss with numerous investments in legitimate businesses as well. He passes himself off as an importer of spices to cover his criminal activities. In 1992 he married a beautiful and sophisticated woman named Vanessa and they have an 18-year-old son Richard. Though already wealthy and very successful, Fisk still has plans to bring all of New York’s criminal rackets under his control.

Flexo the Rubber Man was a robot created in 1940 by scientist brothers Joel and Josh Williams. Though intended to help the brothers with their research, Flexo ended up being used to prevent various acts of sabotage by enemy agents. Ultimately, the Nazis tried to steal Flexo for their own use, murdering the Williams brothers in the process. Unable to make Flexo obey them, the Nazis destroyed the robot and burned down the Williams’ laboratory. All their research was lost.

Marvin Flumm is a shoe salesman in Watford City, North Dakota, and a mutant with low-level telepathic ability.

Dominic Fortune is a 54-year-old retired costumed adventurer who was active between 1983 and 1996 and currently lives in New York. In 1984 he prevented the East German spy Wolfgang von Strucker from assassinating a United States senator, and he encountered Strucker again in 1991 while helping Logan and the Russian soldier Ivan Petrovitch Bezukhov rescue Natasha Romanova from a group of ninja assassins. Fortune enjoyed his celebrity and was the closest thing America had to a superhero during that period.

Bill Foster is a 22-year-old college student from Los Angeles, California, studying to be a biochemist.

Bob Frank became a costumed superhero called “The Whizzer” in 1940 after gaining super-speed in a bizarre incident involving his scientist father, Dr. Emil Frank. In 1942 he was a founding member of the Liberty Legion, where he met the superheroine Miss America. The two soon fell in love, and later in the year they both joined the Invaders. After the war ended, they served in the All-Winners Squad to fight domestic crime, but retired in 1948 when Miss America got pregnant. They got married and took jobs at a nuclear power plant in New York, but his wife was exposed to high levels of radiation when the plant was sabotaged by an old enemy. As a result, their son was born a dangerously radioactive mutant. The government took custody of Robert Frank, Jr., and encouraged the grief-stricken parents to take an extended vacation. Unfortunately, Frank’s wife soon got pregnant again and died in childbirth. Unable to cope with so much tragedy, Frank became a drunken derelict and a drifter. He finally died in 1982 at the age of 63.

Emma Frost is a 20-year-old mutant telepath from Boston, Massachusetts.

Nick Fury is a 46-year-old agent of the CIA who is renowned for having led the Army’s “Howling Commandos” during the Gulf War in 1991. His father, Jack Fury, was a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War who was killed during the Tet Offensive. Nick and his brother Jake then grew up on the mean streets of Manhattan, often brawling with members of the notorious Yancy Street Gang. Nick joined the Army in 1990 and soon rose to a leadership position. While serving with the Howling Commandos, Sgt. Fury fell in love with a nurse named Pamela Hawley, but she was killed during an attack. He also received an injury to his left eye, which has been slowly failing ever since. After the war, the Howling Commandos were sent to apprehend the freelance mercenary Wolfgang von Strucker. Though their quarry escaped, Fury and his men were able to wipe out Strucker’s infrastructure and seize his assets. Strucker tried to get revenge on Fury in 1993 by kidnapping and torturing him after Fury was involved in a helicopter crash in Somalia. Fury escaped and, after recovering from his injuries, returned to active duty with the Howlers. The squad disbanded after a few years, but the surviving original members regrouped following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A year later, now-Colonel Fury retired from the Army and took a position with the CIA, having been recruited after assisting the agency in Afghanistan. In 2010 he began working occasionally with Carol Danvers and Michael Rossi of Air Force Intelligence and the Canadian secret agent known only as Logan.

MacDonald Gargan is a hard-boiled private investigator in New York City.

Nathan Garrett is a scientist from London, England, who conducts research into genetic engineering at his family’s ancestral castle. In his spare time, he tinkers with electronic weapons based on the medieval implements found throughout the castle. His financial situation is growing increasingly desperate.

Dirk Garthwaite is a construction worker in New York City with serious antisocial tendencies. He’s been known to threaten people with a crowbar.

Alexander Gentry is a scientist and engineer who has been unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the bulky battlesuit he has designed.

Greer Grant is an 18-year-old native of Chicago, Illinois. She is looking forward to starting as a science major at the University of Chicago in the fall.

Louise Grant was a secretary from Hoboken, New Jersey, who worked for the Mark Mason Detective Agency in Manhattan. In 1946 she developed the glamorous masked identity of “The Blonde Phantom” to assist her boss with his cases. Within three years, she retired from costumed crimefighting to marry Mark Mason. They soon had a daughter Wanda. Louise died in 1995.

Robert Grayson was the son of German astrophysicist Horace M. Grabsheid, who changed his name after immigrating to the United States in 1984, when Robert was an infant. Seeing nuclear war as inevitable, Dr. Grayson planned to build his own spaceship so he and his son could remain safely in orbit during the conflagration. However, after making radio contact with the colony of Eternals living on Uranus, Grayson built a more advanced ship with their help. In 1988, Grayson and young Robert flew their ship to Uranus and joined the Eternals, believing their society to be a Utopia. Robert was then educated amongst the Eternals’ advanced technology and philosophy. In 2000, Robert was given a pair of energy-manipulating wristbands and sent back to Earth to spread the Uranian way of peace and justice. Called “The Millennium Boy,” Robert soon became the preeminent superhero of the day. In 2001, Millennium Boy learned that his father had fallen ill and the Eternals lacked the knowledge of sickness and infirmity needed to treat him. Unable to get a bank loan to purchase medical supplies, Millennium Boy faced a significant delay while he raised the funds he needed. By the time he made it back to Uranus, he found the Eternals’ colony has been destroyed and everyone there was dead. Driven insane with grief, Millennium Boy set a course back to Earth, intent on taking vengeance on everyone who had delayed his departure. However, while en route, a malfunction in the ship caused him to enter a state of suspended animation, and the ship slowed to the point that it will take 15 years to reach Earth.

Jean Grey is a 14-year-old mutant with telekinetic powers who lives with her parents and older sister in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Her telepathic powers first manifested in 2007 when her best friend, Annie Richardson, was hit by a car and died in Grey’s arms. After withdrawing into herself, Grey was eventually referred to Charles Xavier, who had had success in the past with similar cases. Xavier used his own telepathic powers to suppress Grey’s until she is old enough to handle them. He then began training her to control her remaining telekinetic abilities, encouraging her to keep these powers a secret. Grey has made several visits to Xavier’s mansion in Westchester County to assist him with his research into human mutation, and has met his colleague from Scotland, Dr. Moira MacTaggart. Recently, Xavier revealed to Grey and MacTaggart the prototype for a mutant-detecting machine called CEREBRO.

Ben Grimm is a 36-year-old test pilot from New York City who recently resigned from the Air Force to take a job at Richards Laboratories in California, at the urging of his college roommate Reed Richards. Grimm had once promised to pilot Richards’ spaceship should he ever manage to actually build it, and the project is rapidly nearing completion. Though trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with a woman he met at his last Air Force base, Dr. Linda McGill, Grimm has developed something of a crush on Richards’ gorgeous young girlfriend Sue. Her little brother Johnny, though, is just an annoying pest. Grimm grew up on the streets of Manhattan, and in 1992 had become the leader of the notorious Yancy Street Gang, but left the gang a year later to join the Air Force. He enjoyed his time in the military and in 1994 he was involved in missions with Captain Simon Savage’s Leatherneck Raiders and Sgt. Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos. He then went to college on the G.I. Bill at the State University of New York, where he met Reed Richards and Victor von Doom. Upon graduation in 1999, Grimm returned to the Air Force to become a test pilot. He nearly died in a crash in 2008, but was saved by his friend Desmond Pitt. Nevertheless, the two began to lose touch after Pitt took a position at NASA. Earlier this year, Grimm was surprised to hear from Richards, who was finally ready to take him up on the offer Grimm had sort of meant as a joke.

Sam Guthrie is a 7-year-old boy with latent mutant powers who lives with his parents and siblings in Cumberland, Kentucky.

Henry Peter Gyrich is a government agent with the National Security Administration.

Frank Hall is a 48-year-old physicist from Banff, Alberta, Canada, who is investigating the properties of gravity at a research installation in the Rockies.

Thomas Halloway was a costumed adventurer called “The Angel,” who made his debut in 1939 and inspired a host of imitators. After a very successful career, he was killed while fighting crime at the end of 1946.

Felicia Hardy is a 14-year-old girl in New York City whose father is a notorious cat burglar.

Quincy Harker is a 66-year-old vampire hunter from London, England, who dedicated his life to destroying all vampires after Dracula killed his parents in 1961. After successfully staking Dracula’s daughter Lilith in 1995, Harker was crippled by Dracula as an act of revenge. Undeterred, Harker built a special wheelchair containing an anti-vampire arsenal and continues to seek the final destruction of Dracula himself.

Daimon Hellstrom is a 20-year-old college student majoring in Religious Studies and already an expert demonologist. He is the son of a demon called Marduk Kurios who disguised himself as a human in the early ‘90s to sire half-breed children. His mother, Victoria Wingate Hellstrom, committed suicide in 1998 after discovering her husband’s true nature. Marduk Kurios then left Daimon in foster care and took his three-year-old daughter Satana with him to his infernal realm. Hellstrom is determined to prevent his father from carrying out any more sinister schemes on earth.

Bruno Horgan is an industrialist from New York City who is not above ripping off his customers for his own profit.

James MacDonald Hudson is the 29-year-old head scientist for Department H, a top-secret research and development agency within the Canadian Ministry of Defense, formed in 2008, which is concerned with developing high-tech weapons for the government. Hudson’s 20-year-old wife Heather serves as his secretary. On their honeymoon in 2009, the Hudsons discovered Logan, reduced to a feral state, in Wood Buffalo National Park and brought him to Department H to study his mutant healing factor and adamantium skeleton and claws. Though Logan has since been recruited into Canadian military intelligence, the Hudsons continue to feel protective of his physical and emotional well-being. James MacDonald Hudson is currently searching for inspiration for a positive new direction for Department H to take.

The Human Torch was an android created in 1939 by Professor Phineas T. Horton that could burst into flame, fly, and control and project fire. The Torch initially worked with the NYPD to bring down racketeers and other dangerous criminals and created a civilian identity for himself under the name Jim Hammond. In 1940, he met a 12-year-old mutant boy named Thomas “Toro” Raymond who possessed similar abilities. They became a successful crimefighting duo, and a year later were founding members of the Invaders. The Human Torch and Toro served with the team throughout the war, and nearly apprehended Adolf Hitler in his bunker in 1945. To stop Hitler from blowing up the bunker and killing everyone inside, including Toro, the Torch was forced to incinerate him. After the war, the Torch and Toro fought crime with the All-Winners Squad and partnered briefly with the mysterious Sun Girl. Then, in 1949, a gang of mobsters used an experimental solution to neutralize the powers of the Human Torch and Toro, but the chemical caused the Torch’s artificial body to shut down. He was awakened four years later by a nuclear bomb test, discovering that the criminals had buried him in the desert. He tracked down Toro and found he had been brainwashed to serve the Communists and was currently blowing up ammo dumps in Korea. After rescuing Toro, the two resumed their crimefighting crusade. In 1955, however, the Human Torch realized the radiation that freed him from his grave was causing him to lose control of his powers. Rather than be a threat to mankind, the Torch said goodbye to Toro and flew out to the Nevada desert. There he tried to destroy himself by going nova, but merely deactivated himself again. His body fell to the ground and was soon covered by the desert’s drifting sands, where it remains to the present day.

The Inhumans are a race genetically engineered by the alien Kree in prehistoric times, whose society has evolved along Kree lines separately from mainstream humanity. Since 2005, the Inhumans have been ruled by the usurper Maximus, brother to the rightful king, Black Bolt. Maximus masterminded a civil war in their hidden city of Attilan, which is located in a remote area of the Himalayas, by turning three of their worker drones (called Alpha Primitives) into super-intelligent energy beings known collectively as the Trikon. The 29-year-old Black Bolt was driven into exile, and is currently hiding out in New York. His consort, Medusa (age 27), was lost in the Himalayas during the battle and, suffering from amnesia, has made her way to the south coast of France. Their cousins Triton, Gorgon, and Karnak (all in their mid-twenties) have been forced to serve Maximus. The youngest member of the royal family, Medusa’s sister Crystal, is 19. The outside world remains unaware of the Inhumans’ existence.

Jack Frost was discovered in the Arctic by a scientific expedition and brought to the United States in 1941. Researchers dubbed this “ice elemental” Jack Frost, but he soon escaped from their facility and became an outlaw and killer vigilante. His reputation was rehabilitated somewhat when he joined the Liberty Legion in 1942 and served as a spy-buster and crimefighter throughout the war. Following the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, he returned to the Arctic, disgusted by humanity, and has not been seen since.

J. Jonah Jameson is the 47-year-old publisher of the New York City newspaper the Daily Bugle. He started at the Bugle as a copy boy in 1979, became a full-time reporter in 1984, and steadily worked his way up to the top. His son John Jameson, born in 1986, is an Air Force test pilot training to be an astronaut.

Abner Jenkins is a mechanic from Baltimore, Maryland, who works a low-paying job at a factory making airplane parts.

Tyrone Johnson is an 8-year-old boy with a bad stutter, who lives in a ghetto neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts.

Angelica Jones is a 3-year-old girl with latent mutant powers.

Rick Jones is a 16-year-old orphan from Scarsdale, Arizona. He has been moved around a variety of state institutions due to disciplinary problems, and has just taken up residence with his aunt in a small rural town in New Mexico near an Air Force base. Rather than getting a job, Jones hangs out with other local teens, taking often risky dares to prove himself.

Erik Josten is a mercenary from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army after being caught working as a smuggler. He is currently in the employ of Helmut Zemo and based in Brazil.

Madeline Joyce acted as the costumed superheroine “Miss America” from 1941 until 1948, serving in the Liberty Legion, the Invaders, and the All-Winners Squad. She became romantically involved with her teammate Bob Frank, the Whizzer, and they both retired from their costumed identities when she accidentally became pregnant. To make ends meet after getting married, they both took jobs at a nuclear power plant in New York. Unfortunately, Joyce was exposed to high levels of radiation when the plant was sabotaged by an old enemy, and their son was born a dangerously radioactive mutant. The government took custody of Robert Frank, Jr., and encouraged the grief-stricken parents to take an extended vacation. Unfortunately, Joyce soon got pregnant again and died in childbirth in 1950, at the age of 30. Her second baby was stillborn.

Bonita Juarez is an 18-year-old student in Taos, New Mexico, who is looking forward to starting college. She plans to major in social work.

Eugene Judd is a 47-year-old soldier-of-fortune from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who is considering retirement. Formerly a very tall man, Judd encountered an ancient Persian sorcerer in the Middle East in 1989, whose spells left him only about one meter tall. Furthermore, Judd has realized that he has not aged appreciably since that fateful encounter. Judd has had run-ins with his fellow Canadian Logan on several occasions, both before and after his transformation, and though they sometimes work for opposing sides, they have developed a mutual respect.

Jennifer Kale is an 11-year-old girl from Citrusville, Florida, who lives with her younger brother Andy at the Kale family farm near a swamp that contains a mystic portal called the Nexus of All Realities. Since the death of their parents, Jennifer and Andy have been raised by their grandfather, Joshua Kale, who is the head of a group of minor sorcerers called the Cult of Zhered-Na. Jennifer is very curious about her grandfather’s books of spells and other magical artifacts.

Karl Kaufman served the Allies in World War I as the mysterious flying ace known as “The Phantom Eagle.” He kept his true identity a secret to protect his parents, who were still living in Germany. He soon joined the other mystery men Union Jack, Sir Steel & Silver Squire, and La Chevalier Cramoisi in a special commando squad known as Freedom’s Five. Near the end of the war, Kaufman attempted to get his parents out of Germany, but was discovered by the German pilot Hermann von Reitberger, who machine-gunned the Kaufman family to death. The Phantom Eagle was 26 years old.

Spencer Keen was a superhero known as “The Blue Blaze,” active for several months in 1940. After lying in suspended animation for nearly 90 years following a freak accident in a college science lab, Keen awoke to find himself super-strong and basically invulnerable. However, while Keen was battling a villain called Dr. Vortex, the two men tumbled into a flooded limestone quarry and drowned.

Zebediah Killgrave is a former spy born in Rijeka, Yugoslavia. While conducting industrial espionage, Killgrave was exposed to an experimental chemical that gave him the ability to control other people. However, the chemical also changed his skin color to purple, and so he is often referred to as “the Purple Man.” Killgrave mainly uses his powers to force others to support his life of indulgence and leisure. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with a beautiful woman he mind-controlled into marrying him and their infant daughter Kara.

Hannibal King is a novice private detective from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Ulysses Klaw is a scientist and international criminal from Vlaardingen, the Netherlands. In 2003, he led a band of mercenaries into the African kingdom of Wakanda to steal the ultra-rare mineral vibranium. After killing King T’Chaka, Klaw and his mercenaries were driven off in defeat when the king’s son T’Challa attacked them with their own sonic disruptor weapon. Klaw continues to covet vibranium and is currently scheming to make another attempt at invading Wakanda.

Misty Knight is a 21-year-old college student in New York City who plans to enter the police academy.

Ivan Kragoff is a 56-year-old scientist who was born in Leningrad, U.S.S.R. He currently studies cosmic rays for the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Sergei Kravinoff is a big-game hunter and mercenary from Russia, known professionally as Kraven the Hunter.

Valentina Allegra de La Fontaine is a 33-year-old Italian countess. In 1993, her parents were murdered by the Maggia and Val spent many years waging a vigilante war against organized crime. She was then recruited as an intelligence operative for the Italian government, but became disillusioned after a few years and resigned. She has since used her private fortune to live the life of a transcontinental party girl, but secretly harbors an ambition to once more serve the cause of international justice.

Scott Lang is a 20-year-old college student from Coral Gables, Florida, who is majoring in electrical engineering.

Walter Langkowski is a 30-year-old scientist from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. In 1999, he entered Pennsylvania State University on a football scholarship and there met Bruce Banner, who inspired Langkowski with his passion for science. Though Banner soon transferred to another university, Langkowski decided to follow in his footsteps and major in nuclear physics. Upon graduation in 2003, Langkowski was drafted to play professional football for the Green Bay Packers. After three years, Langkowski retired from sports and used the fortune he had earned to pursue his true goal of becoming a nuclear physicist.

Ebenezer Laughton is a contortionist and entertainer from Rhinebeck, New York, who bills himself as “Umberto the Uncanny.”

Jubilation Lee is a 1-year-old girl with latent mutant powers who lives with her parents in Beverly Hills, California.

Rachel Leighton is a sales clerk at a boutique in Austin, Texas.

Logan is a Canadian mutant of indeterminate age who knows no other name for himself. After growing up in the wilderness of northwestern Canada, Logan became a merchant marine in 1976 and sailed around the world. Reaching China the following year, he had several adventures with a beautiful Chinese girl named Rose. By 1980 he had moved on to Japan, where he began studying the martial arts under a ninja master named Ogun. In the process, he became an enemy of a cult of assassins known as the Hand. In 1986, Logan broke with his sensei and left Japan severely disillusioned. He wandered the world for several years, until settling on the island of Madripoor. There, in 1991, Logan helped a Russian soldier named Ivan Petrovitch Bezukhov and the American adventurer Dominic Fortune rescue a young girl, Natasha Romanova, from the Hand. Logan soon left Madripoor and made his way back to Canada, where he enlisted in the Army and received commando training. Four years later, he became a field agent for Canadian Intelligence, and in 2000 was recruited into a black-ops unit, where he met Victor Creed, Silver Fox, and a handful of other agents. After making many enemies in the CIA during missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, Logan and his team were soon targeted as potential test-subjects for the clandestine Weapon X program. In 2008, the CIA arranged an accident that got Logan cashiered out of the intelligence service, then promptly kidnapped him. He was taken to a facility in Windsor, Ontario where, along with his team, he was subjected to a mental reprogramming procedure. Then he was transported to a secret research installation in Canada’s north woods, where the Weapon X scientists fused the unbreakable metal adamantium to his skeleton and implanted six bionic adamantium claws in his forearms. However, Logan managed to escape from the complex during his subsequent training regimen, though his mind had been shattered, leaving him little more than a savage animal. Logan was discovered by James and Heather Hudson in 2009 when the couple was honeymooning in Wood Buffalo National Park. They took him to Department H and nursed him back to health, though he had no memory of his life before meeting them. After receiving psychiatric treatment, Logan was then recruited back into Canadian intelligence and retrained as a secret agent. He has recently begun working occasionally with Nick Fury of the CIA and Carol Danvers of Air Force intelligence.

Lillian von Loont met the alchemist Esteban Diablo in 1923, after her husband was killed in a car crash. Lillian was also badly injured, but Diablo used his arts to restore her to health, and they soon fell in love. She studied the secrets of alchemy until 1926, when Diablo’s subjects, fed up with his tyrannical rule, imprisoned him within a massive crypt. Von Loont killed Diablo’s treacherous servants and fled back to England, where she continued her studies. In 1936, she finally discovered the means to transform other elements into gold, and returned to Transylvania to take revenge on the peasants who imprisoned her lover. Subsequently, she traveled the world until she had tracked down every one of her targets and transformed them into golden statues. Eventually, old age caught up with her, but Von Loont used her arcane arts to preserve her life within an artificial body, fashioning a beautiful golden mask to hide her now ghastly features. Taking up residence in a mansion on Tamarind Island near Vancouver, Canada, she became known to the curious locals as “Gilded Lily.”

Chen Lu is a scientist from Lanzhou, China, who specializes in working with highly radioactive materials.

Carl Lucas is a 24-year-old inmate at Seagate Prison, a maximum-security facility on an island off the coast of Georgia. Growing up in Harlem, Lucas and his friend Willis Stryker had become small-time crooks. Eventually they both fell for the same girl, Reva Connors. Having made money as a racketeer, Stryker was initially the more successful suitor, until his savage beating at the hands of Maggia goons scared Connors off. She began dating Lucas, who was trying to go straight, but Stryker saw it as a betrayal and framed Lucas by planting uncut heroin in his apartment. Shortly after Lucas was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Connors began seeing Stryker again, only to be killed in a drive-by shooting by more of Stryker’s enemies. Lucas vowed to avenge Connors’ death, and his constant escape attempts have landed him at Seagate, where he is constantly mistreated by the racist guard Albert “Billy Bob” Rackham.

Cornelius van Lunt is a financier with a vast personal fortune who lives in New York City.

Dan Lyons began his career as the superhero called “The Black Marvel” in 1941 after being enhanced to nearly superhuman levels of fighting skill by a secret Native American ritual. Within a year, he became the chief nemesis of a gang of mobsters called the Order of the Hood, which eventually managed to capture Lyons and torture him to death.

Jeff Mace was a reporter for the Daily Bugle who, inspired by Captain America, became the costumed crimefighter called “The Patriot” in 1941. After America entered World War II, Mace became a founding member of the Liberty Legion, and served with them until the Axis powers were defeated. In 1946, he became the third Captain America when the second was killed while fighting the android Adam-II. Mace immediately joined the All-Winners Squad as his replacement. When the second Bucky was shot in 1949, Mace recruited Betsy Ross to become his new partner, as the Golden Girl. The following year, they retired their costumed identities and got married. Mace resumed his career as a newspaper reporter in Boston, Massachusetts. He died of cancer in 1983 at the age of 64.

Jamie Madrox is a 12-year-old boy living on a farm in Kansas, with the mutant power to create duplicates of himself. His father, a scientist, has created a special skin-tight suit to dampen his powers, although the suit itself makes Jamie feel “different.”

Magnus is the alias of a 32-year-old man from Yugoslavia whose Croatian family was wiped out by Serbian forces engaged in “ethnic cleansing” in 1990. The terror of this incident prematurely activated his mutant power to manipulate magnetic fields and he survived by deflecting the bullets away from himself. Five years later, he met his wife, a Romani called Magda, as they were fleeing from Serbian soldiers. Together they escaped into the Carpathian Mountains and eventually made their way to Vinnitsa, Ukraine, where their daughter Anya was born. In 1999, Magnus ran afoul of some local gangsters, who prevented him from saving his daughter from a burning inn. The trauma of her death caused Magnus’ mutant powers to manifest again and he killed everyone at the scene. Witnessing the event, Magda fled into the night, thinking her husband had become a monster. Magnus went into hiding to escape from the police and was unable to follow her. By 2006, he had wandered to Israel, where he was volunteering at a psychiatric hospital. Here he met Charles Xavier, whom Magnus soon began to suspect was a mutant like himself. They teamed up to rescue one of Xavier’s patients, Gabrielle Haller, from the terrorist Wolfgang von Strucker and his HYDRA organization. With Xavier’s help, Magnus defeated Strucker, but then stole the fortune in Nazi gold Strucker had been after, to use for his own campaign to ensure that mutants become the new rulers of the earth.

The Mandarin is a former businessman in China who lost his fortune in 1999. Refusing to do manual labor to earn a living, he set off in search of a way to restore his former power and status. Wandering China, he eventually came upon the fabled Valley of Spirits, where he discovered a crashed spaceship. Using the alien technology he found inside, particularly ten weaponized rings, he has recently set himself up as a warlord amidst the rugged terrain of western China. His nickname “the Mandarin,” which was originally used to mock his arrogance, is now spoken in fear by the people he has subjugated.

Xi’an Coy Manh is a 9-year-old girl with latent mutant powers living with her parents and siblings in Vietnam. Her twin brother Tran shares the same latent powers. Her uncle, Nguyen Ngoc Coy, is a local crime lord.

Mantis is the nickname of a 15-year-old girl in Vietnam who is being trained in the martial arts at the temple of the Priests of Pama, a group of monks descended from the alien Kree. Her uncle is a local crime lord known as Monsieur Khrull, whose intense racism led him to murder her mother for marrying a German man. Gustav Brandt, a mercenary, escaped from Khrull’s men by fleeing into the jungle with his baby daughter, though he soon went blind from his injuries. The Priests of Pama took them in, suspecting that the girl was in fact the Celestial Madonna. After Brandt learned to compensate for his blindness, he departed, leaving Mantis with the priests, who have educated her in their own unique philosophy.

Flint Marko is the alias of a professional criminal in New York City, who was born in Queens as William Baker. He adopted his nom du crime in 1999 to protect his mother, who had taken up residence in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Jean-Paul Martin is a 16-year-old mutant with the power of super-fast flight who lives in Quebec, Canada. He is unaware that he has a twin sister, Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, living in an orphanage near Montreal, who has developed identical mutant powers. When their parents were killed in 1995, Jean-Paul was adopted by his mother’s cousin, RCMP officer Louis Martin. Unable to afford to raise Jeanne-Marie as well, the Martins placed her in a Catholic girl’s home. They intended to stay in touch with her, but soon after the family was relocated to northern Quebec. Then, in 2001, the Martins were killed in an accident and Jean-Paul was placed in foster care. When his mutant powers began to emerge in 2009, Jean-Paul realized he had the potential to be a world-champion downhill skier, and is currently working toward his goal of competing in the next Winter Olympics.

Milos Masaryk is a soldier born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, who is currently doing intelligence work for the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic.

Philip Masters is a 57-year-old scientist who was born in Dragorin, Transia, though he has been living in the United States since 1960. On a research trip to the country of his birth in 1979, Masters discovered a radioactive clay on Wundagore Mountain, and took several samples home with him to study. He soon learned the substance had almost magical properties and stockpiled as much of it as he could get his hands on. By 2000, Masters had fallen in love with the wife of his research partner, Jacob Reiss, and arranged an accident to get Reiss out of the way. Masters soon married Reiss’s widow, Marcia, and adopted his daughter, legally changing her name to Alicia Masters. Alicia had been blinded in the accident that killed Reiss, and out of guilt Masters has striven to be a good father to her ever since. Following his wife’s recent death, Masters has become unhinged and has started experimenting with the radioactive clay’s more dangerous properties.

Wanda Maximoff and Pietro Maximoff are 11-year-old fraternal twins with latent mutant powers living with their adoptive parents, Django and Marya Maximoff, among a Romani tribe in the Balkans. They are unaware that their biological parents are Magnus and Magda. Their mother was pregnant when she fled from her husband after he slew the people who prevented him from rescuing their daughter Anya from a burning inn in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. Magda made her way back to the Balkans, and her pregnancy had nearly come to term when she reached Wundagore Mountain. She was taken in by the High Evolutionary’s servant Bova, an artificially-evolved cow-woman, who served as Magda’s midwife and delivered her twins. Magda named them Wanda and Pietro, but, as soon as she was able, she left her babies behind and fled into the night, terrified that her husband might be following her. Bova took the infants to her master, and, realizing they needed a human family to nurture them, the High Evolutionary took them to a nearby Romani camp. The Maximoffs had recently lost their own twin children and agreed to raise Wanda and Pietro as their own. Wanda’s mutant power to alter probabilities has only just begun to manifest, and she is considered a jinx by the other members of her tribe.

Hank McCoy is an 18-year-old student from Dunfee, Illinois, whose mutant powers give him a somewhat ape-like physiognomy and gymnastic ability. Brilliant at science, he is starting college in the fall on a football scholarship.

Alejandro Montoya is a 16-year-old student in Madrid, Spain, with the mutant ability to generate electrostatic charges within his body. His fascination with swashbuckling heroes has led him to study swordfighting and hand-to-hand combat techniques.

Danielle Moonstar is a 7-year-old girl from Boulder, Colorado with the latent mutant ability to generate psychic projections. Her father, William Lonestar, saved Charles Xavier’s life during the Iraq War, and Xavier was present for Danielle’s christening a little over a year later. Her grandfather is a shaman called Black Eagle.

Michael Morbius is a 37-year-old scientist from Greece, who has just been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Elton Morrow served in the Liberty Legion during World War II as the superhero known as “The Blue Diamond.” He discovered a giant azure diamond during an expedition to Antarctica in 1941. The diamond exploded, embedding minute particles in Morrow’s skin, when his ship was attacked by a Nazi submarine. Morrow suddenly found himself to be invulnerable to injury, and when he returned to America, he created a costumed identity for himself. When the war ended in 1945, the Liberty Legion disbanded and Morrow retired from his role as the Blue Diamond to return to his career as a research scientist. He disappeared in 1981.

Barbara Morse is a 26-year-old graduate student from San Diego, California, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is working with Dr. Wilma Calvin, who is attempting to recreate the legendary super-soldier formula from World War II.

Ororo Munro is a 12-year-old girl with emerging mutant abilities to control the weather. After being orphaned in Cairo, Egypt in 2004, she lived on the streets as a pickpocket and petty thief. She recently left Cairo and is walking south towards Kenya. She has just saved Prince T’Challa, heir to the throne of Wakanda, from a gang of kidnappers, and he has decided to accompany her on her trek until he must return to his own country.

Matt Murdock is a 24-year-old student at Columbia Law School, pursuing his Juris Doctor degree. In 2002, Murdock was blinded in a traffic accident when he was exposed to strange radioactive chemicals. However, he soon discovered that his remaining senses had been heightened to superhuman levels. For a few years Murdock studied with a blind martial-arts master called Stick, who helped him develop a “radar sense” that allows him to navigate through the world better than a sighted person. In 2005, Murdock enrolled in Columbia University and met his roommate Franklin “Foggy” Nelson. He also fell in love with fellow student Elektra Natchios, but during their sophomore year, her father, a Greek ambassador, was murdered, so Elektra dropped out of school and left the United States. Murdock had tried to save her father using his superhuman abilities but failed, and is heartbroken at having lost Elektra as well. Matt’s father, “Battling” Jack Murdock, is a washed-up prizefighter who is getting mixed up with a crooked manager.

Namor is the 41-year-old heir to the throne of the undersea kingdom of Atlantis, known on the surface world as the Sub-Mariner. In the year 2000, he disappeared from the public eye and has been living as an amnesiac vagrant in New York City ever since. Namor’s father, ship captain Leonard McKenzie, and his mother, Princess Fen of Atlantis, met in 1969 when McKenzie’s ship, the Oracle, was conducting research off the coast of Antarctica, directly above the submerged kingdom. Depth charges from the ship had threatened the Atlanteans, and Fen took it upon herself to investigate. When she learned that McKenzie’s actions were not meant to be hostile, she decided to get to know him better. She soon became pregnant, but the lovers were separated when Thakorr, Emperor of Atlantis, assumed Fen was being held against her will and sent a strike force to rescue her. McKenzie, unaware that Fen was pregnant, recovered from his injuries and returned to the United States. Nine months later, Fen gave birth to Namor, a mutant hybrid of Homo sapiens and Homo mermanus. As he grew up, Namor was popular with most Atlanteans, but a few hated him for his “fishbelly” pink skin and the “freakish” wings that sprouted from his ankles when he hit puberty. Thus, in 1989, two of his childhood friends conspired to get rid of Namor. Meranno and Byrrah hired a mercenary army to attack Atlantis in the name of the surface world, causing extensive damage to the kingdom. Emperor Thakorr was injured in the attack and was left comatose. As acting emperor, Namor decided to attack the surface world in retaliation. His destructive rampages through coastal cities terrified the surface-dwellers, who dubbed him “The Sub-Mariner.” In the early ‘90s, Namor had several battles with the flaming hero of World War II, Toro, who came out of retirement to try to defeat him. Eventually, Namor learned of the treachery of Meranno and Byrrah, and that not all surface-dwellers were his enemies. He made efforts to understand the ways of the surface people and to protect Atlantis’s interests, though his volatile personality made him unpredictable. Finally, in 2000, Namor lost a battle with the telepath Paul Destine, who used the mystic artifact known as the Serpent Crown to destroy Atlantis, killing Thakorr and Fen, and then erased Namor’s memory and left him in an alley in a New York ghetto. The Atlanteans were left a disorganized band of refugees, wandering the ocean’s depths.

William Nasland fought for the Allies during World War II as the costumed superhero “The Spirit of ’76,” beginning in 1942. After the original Captain America disappeared in the winter of 1945, Nasland was asked to take over as the new Captain America, and he was honored to do so. Joined by Fred Davis as the new Bucky, Nasland fought alongside the Invaders until the end of the war. Subsequently, he became a founding member of the All-Winners Squad to fight domestic crime. However, in 1946, Nasland was killed in action while trying to stop the evil android Adam-II from assassinating a young politician named John F. Kennedy. He was 28 years old.

Luchino Nefaria is a 48-year-old crime boss from Rome, Italy, who is currently the head of the international crime syndicate known as the Maggia. His wife Renata died in childbirth in 1986, and Nefaria secretly arranged for the baby to be raised as the daughter of wealthy New York financier Byron Frost, who launders money for the Maggia. The girl, Whitney, now 25, still has no knowledge of her true parentage.

Peter Noble fought in World War II as the costumed adventurer called “The Fin.” Originally a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Noble’s ship sank during a training exercise in 1941, but he discovered that he could breathe underwater and survive the crushing pressure at the bottom of the ocean. Fearing he was some kind of freak, Noble did not return to the surface world, but wandered the ocean’s depths until coming across the small subsea kingdom of Neptunia. When Neptunia became a target of Nazi submarines, Noble’s heroic efforts earned him the Neptunians’ loyalty and they crowned him their new king. Neptunia then declared war on Germany, and Noble made many daring attacks against the Nazis on both land and sea using an enchanted cutlass he had discovered in an ancient shipwreck. Due to his distinctive headgear, he was dubbed “The Fin” by the American press and considered a sea-faring super-hero. At the end of the year, he joined Captain America and the Human Torch in forming the Invaders and fought as a member of that team throughout the rest of the war. In 1946, Noble helped form the team’s post-war counterpart, the All-Winners Squad. That team disbanded in 1949, but Noble continued to fight evildoers at home and abroad until his death in 1958.

Otto Octavius is a research scientist from Schenectady, New York, who is developing a new technology to safely handle hazardous materials.

Shanna O’Hara is a 28-year-old veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo in New York. Born in Zaire to American parents, O’Hara was traumatized in 1989 when her father accidentally killed her mother while trying to shoot a leopard. Since taking her job at the zoo last year, she has demonstrated a specially affinity for big cats.

Norman Osborn is a research scientist and business executive in New York City. He came to prominence in 2004 after stealing the research of his partner, Mendel Stromm, and then arranging for Stromm to be sent to prison for 10 years. Osborn’s son Harry is 16 years old.

Leland Owlsley is a financier in New York, nicknamed “The Owl” for his uncanny financial wisdom. However, his success is largely due to illegal manipulations and other shady dealings.

Peter Parker is a 16-year-old high school student from Forest Hills, Queens, New York. Since 1998, Parker has been living with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, after his parents were killed while on assignment for the CIA. He is unaware of the nature of his parents’ work and the exact circumstances of their deaths. He is a gifted science student but shy and withdrawn.

Arthur Parks is a college student from New Brunswick, New Jersey, who is studying lasers.

Peter Petruski is a petty criminal from Gary, Indiana, who is fascinated with pastes and glues.

Kevin Plunder is the 21-year-old son of an English lord, and has been marooned since 1999 in the Savage Land, a hidden jungle filled with otherwise extinct flora and fauna, including dinosaurs, located on the continent of Antarctica. His father was killed shortly after their arrival in the artificially-maintained rainforest, and his only companion since that time has been a sabertooth tiger he calls Zabu. Having reached manhood, Plunder is in the process of hunting down the primitive “man-apes” who killed his father. Only vaguely remembering his childhood in England, Plunder has adopted the name given to him by the man-apes, “Ka-Zar,” which means “Son of the Tiger.” He is unaware that his younger brother Parnival, left behind in England, has turned to a life of crime to support himself.

Alex Power is a 1-year-old boy living with his parents in Richmond, Virginia.

Jonathan Powers is an actor from Hoboken, New Jersey, who has failed to make it big in either New York or Hollywood, and had turned to petty crime to support his extravagant lifestyle.

John Proudstar is a 14-year-old boy from Camp Verde, Arizona, with emerging mutant powers that give him heightened senses and reflexes. Though he feels ashamed of his freakish abilities, John knows his 7-year-old brother James looks up to him. He looks forward to the day he can leave the reservation and join the Army.

Kitty Pryde is a 6-year-old girl from Deerfield, Illinois, with the latent mutant power to phase through solid objects. Her grand ambition now is to be a dancer.

Henry Pym is a 25-year-old genius-level research scientist from Elmsford, New York, who has already finished his education and begun his career. In 2010 he met Maria Trovaya, the daughter of a brilliant geneticist from Chechnya, who had fled from the violence in that region following the breakup of the Soviet Union. They quickly fell head-over-heels in love and decided to get married. Maria convinced Pym to take her back to her hometown of Grozny for their honeymoon. Believing the fighting had ceased, Pym agreed. However, shortly after their arrival, Maria was killed in a terrorist attack. Pym became distraught and, returning to the U.S., retreated from his grief into ever-more bizarre research projects. Though his new theories have been ridiculed and he has been ostracized by the scientific community, Pym has recently discovered a subatomic particle that he believes has the power to cause objects to change their physical size.

Abdul Qamar is a 16-year-old student living in Saudi Arabia.

Doug Ramsey is a 6-year-old boy with the latent mutant ability to decipher any language.

Danny Rand is a 13-year-old boy from New York City who is currently studying the martial arts in the extradimensional city of K’un-Lun, where he has been since 2007. His father, a native of K’un-Lun, had brought the family to the Himalayas in search of the dimensional portal, which was opening at that time, describing K’un-Lun only as a mystical realm. However, his father’s business partner, Harold Meachum, betrayed them, leading to the death of both of Danny’s parents. Danny alone made it to K’un-Lun, where the inhabitants agreed to raise him and train him until the portal reopens in 2017.

Calvin Rankin is a 15-year-old high-school student from Passaic, New Jersey, with an abrasive attitude.

Peter Rasputin is a 10-year-old farmboy in Siberia with the latent mutant power to turn his flesh into organic steel.

Red Raven fought for the Allies during World War II as a member of the Liberty Legion. As a baby, he was the sole survivor of a plane that crashed into the floating island of Aerie, concealed in a cloudbank, that was the home of a population of avian Inhumans. In 1940, he decided to leave the Aerie to explore the world of his birth parents, using the artificial wings the “Bird-People” provided him. He soon became a costumed crime-fighter, and in 1942 was a founding member of the Liberty Legion. However, in 1944, he learned of a plot by the rulers of the Aerie to take advantage of the turmoil caused by the war to conquer the human race. Fearing the Bird-People would be wiped out in such a battle, a desperate Red Raven released a gas that put everyone on the island into suspended animation. After securing the comatose population, Red Raven hid the island on the bottom of the ocean and then placed himself in suspended animation as well. They have remained so ever since.

Thomas Raymond was a mutant with the ability to burst into flame, fly through the air, and project fire from his body in various forms. In his youth, he acted as sidekick to the Human Torch, an android possessed of the same abilities. Known by his nickname, Toro, Raymond met the Human Torch in 1940, when he was only 11 years old. After Toro’s parents were killed by a criminal known as “the Asbestos Lady,” the Torch became his legal guardian. At the end of 1941, they became founding members of the Invaders, and fought against the Axis powers throughout World War II. In 1945, the Torch and Toro cornered Adolf Hitler in his underground bunker, meaning to bring him to justice. However, the Torch was forced to incinerate the Nazi leader to prevent him from blowing up the bunker and killing everyone inside, including Toro. With the war over, Toro joined the Torch in forming the All-Winners Squad to battle domestic crime. However, in 1949, a gang of mobsters used an experimental solution they had obtained from Soviet agents, which allowed them to neutralize Toro’s flame powers and deactivate the Torch. Toro was taken behind the Iron Curtain and brainwashed into becoming a secret weapon for the communists. He was finally rescued in 1953 after the Torch had been revived by a nuclear bomb test. Back in America, Toro’s mental conditioning was broken, and he and the Torch resumed their crimefighting crusade as equal partners. Unfortunately, the radiation that had revived the Torch slowly caused him to lose control of his powers, and in 1955 he said goodbye to Toro and disappeared into the desert. Disheartened, Toro retired from crimefighting and stopped using his powers. He eventually met and married a woman named Anne and lived a relatively normal life for many years. In 1990, Toro came out of retirement to battle the Sub-Mariner, who had recently begun staging attacks on cities along the Atlantic coast, and eventually persuaded Namor that not all surface-men were his enemies. Sadly, these adventures proved too strenuous for Toro and he soon suffered a fatal heart attack. He died in 1992 at the age of 63.

Owen Reece is a janitor at a scientific research installation in New York City.

James Rhodes is a 20-year-old airman in the United States Air Force.

Reed Richards is a 39-year-old beyond-genius research scientist from Central City, California, and head of the California-based Richards Laboratories, which he inherited from his father. Richards began taking college-level courses at Cal Tech in 1986. He was recruited by U.S. Army intelligence in 1991 as an encryption expert and served during the Gulf War. After his tour of duty, he resumed his education at SUNY, where he became roommates with football star Ben Grimm. Richards spoke often of his ambition to build a spaceship, and Grimm half-jokingly promised to pilot it should he ever succeed. Richards had a rival of sorts in Victor von Doom, also a brilliant scientist, who was expelled after one of his experiments went badly awry. In 2003, Richards enrolled in Columbia University to pursue yet another advanced degree. It was here that he met Susan Storm, the niece of his landlady. Though she was much younger, they stayed in touch after Richards graduated in 2005 and returned to California to work for his father. Two years later, after working obsessively on a secret project, Richards’ father vanished without a trace. However, he had made arrangements for his son to take over the family business. Richards immediately devoted all the company’s resources to his starship project. In early 2011, as the project was nearing completion, Richards contacted Grimm to take him up on the offer he made in college. Grimm resigned from the Air Force and took a position at Richards Laboratories to train for the mission to space. In the spring, Susan Storm, now working as a model in New York, flew out to spend the summer with Richards and they quickly fell in love. Recently, however, Richards encountered an alien monster that was intent on wiping out the human race. Using his scientific knowledge and ingenuity, Richards defeated the alien by dispersing its molecules over a wide area. Convinced that advanced extraterrestrial races pose a clear and present danger to the planet Earth, Richards now sees his starship project as vital to the survival of the human race.

Kyle Richmond is a 21-year-old reluctant business executive in New York City. Following his mother’s death in 1999, Richmond was sent to boarding school, since his father was constantly away on business. He soon developed a reputation as a troublemaker. Despite his poor academic record, Richmond was accepted to the exclusive Grayburn University in 2008 due to his father’s wealth and influence. However, Richmond was expelled the next year after a drunk-driving accident which he believes to have killed his girlfriend Mindy. His father died in a plane crash soon after that, and, rejected from military service due to a heart murmur, Richmond agreed to take over the family business. Leaving the actual running of the company to others, Richmond now lives the life of a playboy, while searching for a means to cure his heart condition.

Richard Rider is a 9-year-old boy living with his family in Queens, New York.

Steve Rogers served the Allies during World War II as the symbolic super-soldier Captain America. Born in New York City in 1921 and orphaned at the height of the Great Depression, Rogers was a frail and sickly youth. When he tried to enlist in the U.S. Army in late 1940, Rogers was classified 4F and rejected. However, he was immediately recruited by General Chester Phillips for his super-soldier program, Operation: Rebirth. Rogers was flown to Washington D.C., where he met the mastermind behind the project, Dr. Abraham Erskine. Within a few weeks, Rogers was injected with Erskine’s super-soldier serum and subjected to high-energy vita-rays, emerging from the process as physically perfect as a human being could be. Unfortunately, a Nazi spy had infiltrated the proceedings and shot and killed Dr. Erskine. Unable to duplicate Erskine’s success, the government decided to make Rogers into a patriotic symbol and a special-missions commando, similar to Britain’s Union Jack of World War I. Given a red, white, and blue costume and a bulletproof shield, Rogers became the masked hero Captain America. A few months later, Rogers acquired a teen-aged sidekick, Bucky, and the pair quickly became a media sensation. After America entered the war, Rogers fought alongside other super-heroes in the Invaders, as well as conducting numerous solo missions. In 1944, Bucky reached his 18th birthday and gave up his costumed identity to join the Army as a regular soldier. Soon after, while in France, Rogers fell in love with an American girl fighting in the French Resistance, although he knew her only by her code-name, “Mademoiselle.” She disappeared during the liberation of Paris, and Rogers was unable to find her. Then, in the winter of 1945, Rogers had his final battle with his arch-nemesis, the Red Skull, who was buried under tons of rubble in a collapsing bunker in Berlin. Returning to England, Rogers was assigned to stop the theft of an experimental drone plane from a base on the North Sea, where he was reunited with Bucky. His old enemy, Baron Heinrich Zemo, launched the plane towards Germany, but when Rogers and Bucky leaped aboard to stop it, they discovered it was booby-trapped. The plane exploded, killing Bucky and throwing Rogers down into the icy waters below. The super-soldier serum in his blood caused Rogers to go into suspended animation, and he was carried by the current into the Arctic, where he remains, entombed in ice, to the present day.

The girl who will be known as Rogue is currently a 7-year-old with latent mutant powers living with her family in Mississippi.

Natasha Romanova is a 27-year-old spy born in Stalingrad, U.S.S.R. (now St. Petersburg, Russia). Orphaned as a young girl, she was discovered living on the streets of Madripoor in 1991 by Russian soldier Ivan Petrovitch Bezukhov. Realizing the girl was descended from the Russian royal family, Bezukhov vowed to raise her as his own daughter. However, she was soon kidnapped by the terrorist Wolfgang von Strucker, who was working with the group of ninja assassins known as the Hand. With some help from Logan and Dominic Fortune, Bezukhov rescued Romanova and took her back to Russia. He enrolled her in the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg and got himself a job in electronics. Bezukhov married in 1997 and soon had a son, Yuri. In 2003, Romanova graduated and became a professional ballerina in the famous Kirov ballet company, which put a tremendous strain on her relationship with her boyfriend, a brilliant college student named Andrei Rostov. A year later they broke up and Romanova took the hotshot jet pilot Alexi Shostakov as her lover. They married in 2005 and became something of a celebrity couple. However, two years after that, members of the Russian intelligence community decided that the Shostakovs would make excellent covert operatives. Incidents were arranged to convince each one that the other had died and then they were recruited separately. Shostakov was taken to Siberia for training while Romanova was assigned to the KGB’s former Moscow training facility, the infamous Red Room. There she was trained by a former KGB agent named Alexi Bruskin and proved highly adept at spycraft. In 2008 Romanova was sent on her first mission outside Russia, to assist an operative called Danny French in stealing an experimental device from the Project Four installation in Nevada. Since she was successful, she was sent to New York to infiltrate Stark International under the alias “Natalie Rushman.” She has been passing the secrets of Stark’s technology to the Russians ever since.

Jack Russell is a 14-year-old student living in the suburbs of Los Angeles with his mother, step-father, and sister Lissa. He is unaware that his biological father, Gregory Russoff, was a werewolf and that he will inherit his father’s ancestral curse on his 18th birthday. He is equally unaware that he was born Jacob Russoff in Transylvania and that his step-father Philip is really his father’s brother. Nor does he know that his grandfather, Baron Gregor Russoff of Transylvania (also a werewolf), obtained the Darkhold, the ultimate book of black magic, in 1971 from the sorcerer Taboo. In 1999, Gregory was killed by a hunting party while in his werewolf form, and a year later Gregor died while battling the demon Chthon on Wundagore Mountain. Jack and his mother fled Transylvania for California, where she married Philip shortly after Lissa was born, changing their names from Russoff to Russell. The Darkhold is currently in a California warehouse along with the rest of the contents of Castle Russoff.

Ted Sallis is a 34-year-old chemist from Omaha, Nebraska. In 2007, he initiated a research project at Empire State University that the United States military soon classified top-secret and codenamed Operation: Sulfur. Its aim was to alter human biochemistry to enable people to survive even the most toxic industrial pollution. By 2010, however, Sallis determined that his serum would mutate people into horribly disfigured pollution-breathing monsters. He convinced a review panel to condemn the project and the government had no choice but to shut it down. Sallis has recently received overtures from Dr. Wilma Calvin to join her project to recreate Abraham Erskine’s super-soldier formula, and he is considering it.

Leonard Samson is a psychiatrist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who currently practices in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Basil Sandhurst is a research scientist from Kittery Point, Maine, who is developing mind-control technologies.

Mark Scarlotti is a college student from Cleveland, Ohio, studying electrical engineering. He has been awarded a summer internship at Stark International in New York.

Larry Scott was a masked vigilante known as “Father Time” in 1941-1942. His father was executed in the electric chair after being convicted of murder, though Scott maintained he was innocent. Unhinged by the experience, Scott took up a scythe and began killing criminals. Eventually someone overpowered him and killed him with his own weapon.

Shang-Chi is a 14-year-old student of the martial arts at a retreat in Honan, China. He is the son of an international criminal mastermind and his American-born wife, though Shang-Chi is unaware of his father’s illegal activities.

Gregor Shapanka is a research scientist from Szombathely, Hungary, who works in the cryonics division at Stark International in New York.

Sebastian Shaw is a 33-year-old multi-millionaire industrialist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the CEO of Shaw Industries, and a mutant with the power to absorb kinetic energy. Shaw keeps a love-slave named Tessa, who is also a mutant.

Nekra Sinclair is a 17-year-old mutant from Los Alamos, New Mexico, with the power to convert negative emotions into strength and invulnerability. A “goth chick” runaway, she lives on the streets with her partner, Jerome Beechman, a mutant with ape-like features and powerful pheromones.

Rahne Sinclair is a 4-year-old orphan girl in Scotland with the latent mutant ability to shapeshift into a wolf.

Marrina Smallwood is an 8-year-old girl, hatched from an alien Plodex egg mapped with human DNA, living in a small fishing community in Newfoundland, Canada. Despite her strange appearance, Smallwood has been accepted by the locals since they find her amphibious abilities useful.

Tabitha Smith is a 2-year-old girl in Roanoke, Virginia, with the latent mutant ability to generate explosive energy spheres.

Samuel Smithers is a gardener and groundskeeper. Born in London, England, he is currently employed by the wealthy Evans family of Long Island.

Karla Sofen is a 25-year-old graduate student from Van Nuys, California. She is studying to become a psychiatrist, but is financing her education by dallying with various gangsters.

Marc Spector is a 21-year-old heavyweight boxer from Chicago, Illinois. Feeling his career is winding down, he is considering joining the U.S. Marine Corps.

Gwen Stacy is a 16-year-old high-school student in New York City. Her father, George Stacy, is a captain in the NYPD.

Tony Stark is a 25-year-old genius-level inventor and head of Stark International, a company he inherited in 2007 after his parents were killed in a car crash. Stark is currently constructing the massive flying fortress called the Helicarrier for the nascent international security agency S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division), among other weapons and hardware.

Elihas Starr is a research scientist from Queens, New York. Though brilliant, he is bad-tempered and his co-workers mock him with the nickname “Egghead.”

Samuel Sterns is a manual laborer from Boise, Idaho, who works at a nuclear research facility.

Johnny Storm is a 17-year-old high school student from Glenville, New York, on Long Island. He lost his mother in 2005, and his father was convicted of manslaughter and sent to jail in 2007. Since then, Storm has been raised by his sister Susan, with help from an aunt who lives nearby. In the summer of 2011, Storm has gone to California to hang out with Sue and her boyfriend Reed Richards. Thanks to his interest in fast cars, Storm has quickly made a number of new friends.

Susan Storm is a 22-year-old model from Glenville, New York, on Long Island. After the death of her mother in 2005, her father went into a downward spiral and was finally convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison in 2007. Storm has been raising her younger brother Johnny ever since, though she has help from an aunt who runs a boarding house near Columbia University. It was at her aunt’s boarding house that Storm met Reed Richards, a much older college student, in 2003. She fell in love with Richards and has kept in touch with him since then. In the spring of 2011, Richards invited Storm to spend the summer with him in California, and she happily accepted. After a few weeks together, they decided to get engaged. After school let out, Johnny came out to California to join her. Storm recently assisted Richards in destroying an alien menace that had come to wipe out the human race, and understands why he works so obsessively on his project to build an interstellar spaceship.

Stephen Strange is a 49-year-old sorcerer who lives in a mansion in Greenwich Village, which he calls his Sanctum Sanctorum. Strange went to medical school in the 1980s at the University of Pennsylvania and studied to be a neurosurgeon. He went into private practice in 1995, by which time both his parents had died. Earlier in the ‘90s, he had been engaged to a woman named Madeleine Revell, but she ended their relationship when she realized he was becoming too arrogant and cold-hearted. In 1997, Strange crashed his sports car and sustained nerve damage that ended his surgical career. Too proud to work as a consultant, Strange then squandered his fortune seeking a cure for his condition, alienating his few friends in the process. By 1999, Strange was desperate enough to travel to Tibet in search of a miracle-worker known only as “The Ancient One.” Within a year, Strange found his way to the Ancient One’s remote retreat in the mountains, where the weird old man refused to help him. However, a sudden blizzard prevented Strange from leaving. While there, the former doctor discovered that the Ancient One’s pupil, a Transylvanian called Baron Mordo, was trying to kill his master. Mordo used his spells to prevent Strange from revealing the plot, so Strange asked the Ancient One to teach him magic. Seeing the good in Strange, the Ancient One agreed and released Strange from Mordo’s spells, of which he was already aware. Strange experienced an epiphany and dedicated himself to the study of the mystic arts. Strange soon got to know the Ancient One’s devoted manservant, Hamir the Hermit, and his son Wong. Months later, Mordo tried to kill Strange, but the novice sorcerer defeated him. The Ancient One then banished Mordo from the temple, and he returned to Transylvania, vowing revenge. Strange studied with the Ancient One until 2008, when he was ready to return to the world as a Master of the Mystic Arts. Accompanied by Wong, Strange moved to Greenwich Village and established his reputation as an expert on the occult. Doctor Strange currently uses his magic powers to aid people who seek him out, though he occasionally assists the police with particularly mysterious cases.

Wolfgang von Strucker is a 61-year-old mercenary and terrorist and leader of the international criminal organization HYDRA. He was recruited by the East German intelligence services in 1984, but went rogue soon after when a mission to assassinate a United States senator was thwarted by Dominic Fortune. Strucker retreated to the western Pacific and made a name for himself there as a freelance mercenary. In 1991, on the island of Madripoor, he agreed to assist the clan of ninja assassins known as the Hand in kidnapping a young Natasha Romanova, whom the Hand wanted for a mystical ceremony. However, his plans were again ruined by Dominic Fortune, along with a mysterious Canadian called Logan and a Russian soldier named Ivan Petrovitch Bezukhov. In 1992, Strucker suffered a major setback when Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos wiped out his infrastructure and seized his assets. Left nearly destitute, Strucker learned that an associate of his knew the location of a cache of Nazi gold, hidden during the closing days of World War II. Unfortunately, the man was fatally wounded by his enemies, so he tried to use an experimental hypnosis technique to implant the information in the mind of an Israeli prostitute named Gabrielle Haller, but the process left her catatonic. Foiled again, Strucker hid out in Japan, where he infiltrated and took over a secret society bent on world domination. After assassinating the group’s leader, Strucker renamed it HYDRA and established a new headquarters on a lonely island in the Pacific Ocean. In 1993, this base, called Hydra Island, was destroyed by Captain Simon Savage and his squad of Navy SEALs, “The Leatherneck Raiders.” Strucker was on the run again, and caught up with Nick Fury in Somalia. Knowing the Howling Commandos thought Fury had been killed in a helicopter crash, Strucker tortured his foe until Fury managed to escape. Strucker then returned to Europe and organized a secret group of scientists to create high-tech weapons for HYDRA, setting up a dummy corporation called Advanced Idea Mechanics as a front. In 1994, while in Bosnia, Strucker discovered a group of extraterrestrials hiding out while repairing their spaceship. Strucker killed the aliens, as well as everyone else in the village, and seized their otherworldly technology for use by HYDRA. Five years later, one of Strucker’s lovers gave birth to twins. Strucker was proud of his offspring and named them Andrea and Andreas von Strucker, unaware that they were mutants with latent powers. In 2006, Strucker learned that Gabrielle Haller had finally been brought out of her catatonic state by an American therapist named Charles Xavier. Strucker and a squad of HYDRA mercenaries attacked the psychiatric hospital in Israel to capture her. They took her to Kenya and forced her to reveal where the Nazi gold was hidden. However, they were attacked by Xavier, a telepath, and another mutant called Magnus, who possessed impressive magnetic powers, who had come to rescue Haller. Strucker was no match for their mutant powers, and Magnus took all the Nazi gold for himself. Nevertheless, Strucker got away, and has been at large ever since, slowly building up HYDRA’s power base, until they are ready to take over the world.

Leopold Stryke is a manager at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island. His brother Jordan is an advertising executive on Madison Avenue. Both have criminal tendencies and are suckers for a get-rich-quick scheme.

Scott Summers is a 15-year-old orphan living in a state-run institution in Omaha, Nebraska. His younger brother Alex is living in a foster home not far away. Although he doesn’t remember the event, Summers’ parents were kidnapped by aliens from the Shi’ar galaxy in 2004. Both Summers boys are mutants with emerging powers. Scott had been experiencing severe headaches and eye-strain until discovering that ruby-quartz crystals alleviated his symptoms. An optometrist agreed to make a pair of goggles out of the substance, which Summers wears all the time, day and night. When he needs to remove them, he keeps his eyes tightly closed for fear the headaches will return. His caretakers believe Summers was brain-damaged when his parents were killed. Deeply unhappy, he is planning to run away to New York City.

Sun Girl was a mysterious super-heroine who appeared one day in 1948, became a media sensation, then disappeared just as abruptly in 1949. She worked briefly with the Human Torch while his regular partner, Toro, was on a leave of absence. Many theories surround Sun Girl, but the truth was never discovered.

Kevin Sydney is a mutant shapeshifter able to mimic the appearance of other people.

Will Talltrees is a 22-year-old soldier in the U.S. Marine Corps from Wolf Point, Montana.

George Tarleton is a technician for the subversive organization Advanced Idea Mechanics.

T’Challa is the 24-year-old heir to the throne of Wakanda, a remote African kingdom. In 2003, the unscrupulous Dutch scientist Ulysses Klaw invaded Wakanda with a heavily-armed band of mercenaries, intent on capturing the source of the ultra-rare mineral vibranium. They killed the king, T’Chaka, but the teenaged prince T’Challa attacked them with their own sonic disruptor weapon and drove them off. T’Challa was then sent abroad to complete his education at the finest universities of Europe and America, accompanied by his friend B’Tumba. In his absence, Wakanda has been ruled by B’Tumba’s father, N’Baza, as regent. Having just graduated, T’Challa was touring eastern Africa on his way back to Wakanda when an attempt was made to kidnap him. He defeated the kidnappers with the help of a 12-year-old girl called Ororo, a mutant with limited control over the weather. Fascinated by her, T’Challa has decided to accompany her on her trek through Kenya before returning to his native land.

Thor is the mythological god of thunder worshipped by the Vikings a thousand years ago. Since 1999, he has been banished from his extradimensional realm of Asgard and has been living on Earth with no memory of his true identity. Odin, king of the Asgardians, took possession of Thor’s enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, and forced Thor to assume the mortal guise of Donald Blake, a medical student with a bad leg. Blake trained to be a neurosurgeon and far surpassed the skill level of his peers. In the summer of 2011, he went into private practice in New York City and hired Nurse Jane Foster to work at his office.

Maynard Tiboldt is the ringmaster of a traveling circus, which is really just a cover for a gang of thieves. They mainly target small towns along rural highways.

Mark Todd, a former newspaper reporter, fought the Japanese Army as the costumed commando known as “The Blazing Skull,” beginning in 1939. He was killed in action in 1942.

Adrian Toomes is a 59-year-old mechanic and inventor from New York City, who has nearly perfected a rig to allow a person to fly like a bird.

Topaz is a 12-year-old girl from India who serves as the familiar for a sorcerer called Taboo. In 2005, Taboo found Topaz in a refugee camp and learned how to harness her empathic powers to serve his own selfish ends.

Mortimer Toynbee is a 19-year-old mutant from York, England, with superhuman agility and a fawning, obsequious manner.

Michael Twoyoungmen is a 46-year-old former surgeon from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In 2003, his wife died from a terminal illness, and Twoyoungmen blamed himself for failing to save her with his medical skill. Their young daughter Elizabeth blamed him also, and Twoyoungmen sank into a profound depression. Leaving Elizabeth with his neighbors, the large McNeil family, Twoyoungmen retreated to a remote cabin in the wilderness to be alone with his grief.

Angelo Unuscione is a 23-year-old professional wrestler and a mutant with the ability to generate a force-field around his body. He bills himself as “Unus the Untouchable.”

Janet Van Dyne is a 20-year-old socialite in New York City, the daughter of the wealthy scientist Vernon Van Dyne. Her father has been one of America’s most noted scientists since the 1980s.

Rachel Van Helsing is a 29-year-old vampire hunter.

Wendell Vaughn is a 16-year-old high-school student in Wisconsin.

Seth Voelker is an economic analyst from Kenosha, Wisconsin. He has recently begun working for the Roxxon Oil Company.

Klaus Voorhees is a research assistant from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who works for the internationally renowned herpetologist Ezekiel Shecktor.

Kurt Wagner is a 13-year-old circus acrobat in Germany with a number of bizarre mutations that have been present since birth, including dark-blue fuzz all over his body, yellow eyes, a prehensile tail, and six fingers and toes. He has only recently developed the ability to teleport short distances, disappearing and reappearing in a puff of smoke. Abandoned at birth, Wagner has been raised at the circus by Margali Szardos, a sorceress posing as a gypsy fortune-teller, alongside her own children Jimaine and Stefan. The circus folk accept Wagner despite his strange appearance, and audiences assume he is just wearing an outlandish costume.

Patsy Walker is a 19-year-old former reality-TV star from Centerville, California. She has a strained relationship with her mother, Dorothy Walker, the ultimate “stage mom,” and is dating her former co-star, Buzz Baxter.

Jennifer Walters is a 24-year-old student at the UCLA School of Law pursuing her Juris Doctor degree. As a child she was close to her cousin, Bruce Banner, but they have since drifted apart.

Miles Warren is a biology professor at Empire State University in New York City, interested in cloning.

John Watkins was a British Army lieutenant who was believed killed by the Nazis in 1940. He survived and adopted the masked identity “Citizen V” to wage a one-man guerilla war against the Axis powers across Europe. He left the “V” symbol at the site of his victories to inspire the local resistance movements. He was killed for real during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

Dane Whitman is a 23-year-old graduate student in physics from Gloucester, Massachusetts. He was inspired to pursue a career in the sciences by his uncle, Nathan Garrett.

Simon Williams is a 24-year-old business executive from Paterson, New Jersey. He has recently inherited the family business, Williams Innovations, a technology firm. He and his brother Eric are frustrated that the company is unable to compete with the much larger Stark International.

Jim Wilson is a 12-year-old boy living with his family in a Los Angeles ghetto. He is unaware that his uncle, Sam Wilson, has recently moved to the city and joined a criminal gang.

Sam Wilson is a 19-year-old from Harlem, New York, who has moved to Los Angeles in the wake of his parents’ murders. Angry with the world, Wilson has renounced his former devotion to community service to join a street gang, going by the nickname “Snap.” Though his older brother Gideon lives in the city with his wife and son, Wilson avoids them out of shame.

Colleen Wing is a 17-year-old girl being raised by her grandfather in the mountains of northern Japan, where she is learning the martial arts. Her father teaches Asian history at Columbia University in New York City.

Wyatt Wingfoot is a 17-year-old high-school student living on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. His father is a famous athlete, and though talented at sports, Wingfoot worries about living up to everyone’s expectations.

Bentley Wittman is a “celebrity genius” who makes frequent television appearances, often showing off his bizarre inventions along with his knowledge of arcane trivia. Though his cable-TV show Wizard! has been quite successful, he has grown increasingly bored and searches for new ways to challenge his vast intellect.

Jimmy Woo is a 36-year-old FBI agent who, since 2006, has been trying to apprehend the international criminal mastermind known as the Yellow Claw.

Warren Worthington III is a 15-year-old student at a private boarding school on Long Island, who goes to great lengths to conceal the feathery white wings that have been growing out of his back since puberty. He fears that they will soon be too large to hide beneath his clothes.

Wundarr is an alien from the planet Dakkam, who was an infant when his ship crashed in the Florida Everglades in 1997. Though he has been growing physically at a normal rate within the ship’s womb-like interior, his cognitive development has been severely retarded.

Herbert Edgar Wyndham is a research scientist from Manchester, England, who works at his private research facility on Wundagore Mountain in the tiny Balkan nation of Transia. In 1978, Wyndham attended a genetics conference in Geneva, Switzerland, at which he met Jonathan Drew, Wladyslav Shinski, and Arnim Zola. Shortly afterward, a mysterious visitor presented Wyndham with a document detailing the advanced genetic science of the Inhumans. This allowed him to take his experiments to a new level, and Wyndham soon succeeded in artificially evolving a dog into humanoid form. However, the dog-man escaped from Wyndham’s laboratory and terrorized Manchester until the police hunted it down and killed it. Wyndham realized he would need to conduct his future experiments in a remote area, and in 1980 he partnered with Jonathan Drew to build a research facility on land Drew had acquired in Transia. They hired Horace M. Grabsheid to design the installation for them, and funded the project by mining the uranium from Wundagore Mountain. The following year, the facility was plagued by a werewolf, who killed Drew’s wife. Drew became further distraught when his daughter Jessica succumbed to radiation poisoning. He administered an experimental treatment derived from spider venom, then placed her in suspended animation. Leaving her in Wyndham’s care, Drew abandoned his research and returned home. A month later, Wyndham succeeded in capturing the werewolf, learning that his name was Gregor Russoff. Struck by the similarities between Russoff’s werewolf form and the dog-man he had once created, Wyndham made a deal with Russoff—Wyndham would prevent his murderous rampages if Russoff would agree to be a research subject. By 1998, Wyndham had perfected his genetic accelerator and created a race of “New Men” by evolving various animals into sentient humanoids. Drew finally returned and helped harness the creatures’ animalistic instincts by training them in medieval chivalry as the Knights of Wundagore. In 2000, the Knights of Wundagore battled the demon Chthon, who had been imprisoned within Wundagore Mountain in the days of Camelot. During the battle, Gregor Russoff was killed. However, at the same time, the cow-woman Bova was acting as midwife to Magda, who had made her way to Transia after fleeing from her husband’s terrifying magnetic powers. Magda gave birth to mutant twins, naming them Wanda and Pietro. Sensing potential in the baby girl, Chthon imbued Wanda with some of his magic before being driven out of Earth’s dimension, planning to use her in the future to escape his imprisonment. Magda abandoned her babies, so Wyndham found them a foster family among the Romani living at the foot of the mountain. Drew left shortly afterwards to take a job at the British Museum, and Wyndham continued his experiments. Having slowly become something of a “mad scientist,” Wyndham now insists on being referred to as “The High Evolutionary.”

Jason Wyngarde is a middle-aged mutant in England with the ability to generate convincing illusions. He makes his living as a stage magician and supplements his income with the occasional petty larceny. He also uses his powers to trick beautiful young women into sleeping with him.

Charles Xavier is a 35-year-old researcher of genetic mutation in humans, who works primarily at his home, a large estate in Westchester County, north of New York City. He is also a mutant with highly developed telepathic powers. Both he and his stepbrother Cain Marko were orphaned in the early ‘90s. Arrangements were made for Xavier to attend a private boarding school, where he pursued an accelerated course of study. He attended Bard College and received a degree in Biology in 1997, then enrolled in Oxford University for graduate study. There he met Moira MacTaggart, an unhappily married student of genetics, and they had a passionate affair. When the Iraq War broke out in 2003, Xavier decided to enlist in the U.S. Army to serve his country. He found himself serving alongside his stepbrother Cain Marko, though Marko soon disappeared in a cave-in while they were patrolling an ancient archaeological site. Not long after, Xavier was badly wounded in combat, but his friend William Lonestar saved his life. While in the hospital, Xavier received a letter from MacTaggart ending their relationship. Depressed, Xavier retreated to the Greek island of Kirinos to recover from his injuries after receiving a medical discharge. Trying to lose himself by traveling the world, Xavier would find himself in Colorado in 2004 to attend the christening of William Lonestar’s daughter Danielle; in Cairo, Egypt in 2005 where he battled another mutant telepath named Amahl Farouk; and in Haifa, Israel in 2006 doing consulting work at a psychiatric hospital. There he met the man called Magnus, who proved to be another mutant, possessing impressive magnetic powers. Xavier succeeded in using his telepathy to bring a young woman, Gabrielle Haller, out of a catatonic state. However, she was immediately kidnapped by Wolfgang von Strucker and his HYDRA mercenaries and taken to Kenya to help them find a cache of Nazi gold hidden during World War II. Xavier and Magnus teamed up to rescue her, though Magnus took the gold for himself and left. Xavier returned Haller to Israel and she became his lover for a time, but within a few months, he left her to continue his travels, unaware that she was pregnant. While exploring Tibet in 2007, Xavier encountered an alien being who tried to kill him. Xavier survived, but his legs were crushed and he was confined to a wheelchair. Utterly defeated, Xavier finally returned home to Westchester and devoted himself to studying genetics, becoming something of a recluse. In 2008, Xavier’s success in treating Gabrielle Haller led to him being asked to meet with a traumatized local girl named Jean Grey. Xavier discovered Grey was also a mutant telepath, and helped her deal with her emerging powers. In 2009, Xavier took a position at Columbia University, where he met a medical researcher named Karl Lykos. They collaborated briefly when Xavier believed Lykos to be a mutant, but when he discovered he was wrong, Xavier distanced himself from Lykos. He renewed his association with Moira MacTaggart, who had founded her Mutant Research Centre on Muir Island, off the coast of Scotland, in 2006. They continued to work with Jean Grey while Xavier perfected his mutant-detecting CEREBRO machine. He recently demonstrated the prototype for MacTaggart and Grey, though there are still bugs to be worked out.

The Yellow Claw is an international criminal mastermind from China who is over 120 years old. He uses arcane chemicals to unnaturally extend his lifespan, which have given his skin and eyes a sickly yellow hue. Since 2006 he has been plagued by the FBI agent Jimmy Woo, who has disrupted most of the Claw’s schemes in America. His grand-niece Suwan, inspired by her love for Woo, has also interfered with his plans, but the Yellow Claw is unwilling to kill his only living relative. For the last couple of years, the Yellow Claw has been keeping a low profile.

Shiro Yoshida is a 14-year-old student in Agarashima, Japan, with emerging mutant powers to generate blasts of flame from his body. His father is an ambassador to the United Nations.

Calvin Zabo is an unscrupulous medical assistant from Trenton, New Jersey, with a checkered employment history.

Helmut Zemo is the 25-year-old leader of a mercenary army based in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, where he was born. His father, Baron Heinrich Zemo, fled from Europe at the end of World War II, and his mother was one of Heinrich’s many Brazilian concubines. Already quite elderly, Heinrich Zemo died when Helmut was still a boy, but he did pass on his intense hatred of America to his son.

Arnim Zola is a 66-year-old geneticist who conducts his experiments at his ancestral castle on Weisshorn Mountain in Switzerland. In 1978 he attended a genetics conference in Geneva along with Wladyslav Shinski, Herbert Edgar Wyndham, and Jonathan Drew. However, he made little significant progress with his theories until 1987, when he discovered a cache of scientific papers left by the ancient race known as the Deviants. He began a radical new line of research into the creation of artificial life. Zola’s project was developed further in 1991 when a mysterious visitor presented him with a document detailing the advanced genetic science of the Inhumans. Aware of his own mortality, Zola is currently working on engineering a new body for himself, hoping to thus prolong his life indefinitely.

The possibilities are endless! Another 50 years of exciting comic book stories could easily be mined just from the information presented above, let alone with all the new ideas that would be added to the mix by today’s most talented writers and artists. Hit the kill switch, Marvel. It’s time to reboot!

How I Would Do It