Impulse (1995)

Suffering from a hyper-accelerated metabolism, Bart Allen was aging at a faster rate than that of any human being thus causing him to appear the physical age of twelve when he was chronologically, and mentally only two years old. To prevent him from developing mental health problems, he was raised in a virtual reality machine which created a simulated world that kept pace with his own scale of time. When it became clear that this method was not helping, his grandmother, Iris Allen, took him back in time to the present where The Flash, Wally West, tricked Bart into a race around the world. By forcing Bart into an extreme burst of speed, Wally managed to shock his hyper-metabolism back to normal. Because he had spent the majority of his childhood in a simulated world, Bart had no concept of danger and was prone to leaping before he looked. The youth proved to be more trouble than Wally could handle, and he was pawned off onto retired superhero speedster Max Mercury, who moved Bart to Manchester, Alabama. In Impulse #50, it was revealed that Batman actually named Bart “Impulse” as a warning, not a compliment.

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Spider-Woman: Origin (2006)

Origin does away with the spider-blood serum and genetic accelerator elements of the character’s previous origin story. Instead, Jessica’s powers derive from her mother’s womb being hit by a laser beam containing the DNA traits of several different species of spiders while she was carrying Jessica (the Drews were trying to splice and harness spiders’ environmental adaptive capabilities, in order to graft them into the human genome).

After Jessica’s parents disappear under mysterious circumstances, Jessica is recruited into HYDRA (under false pretenses), where she is made into a formidable fighter and assassin. She is trained and mentored by Taskmaster, who schools her in many martial disciplines and more than seven different fighting styles out of his own “arsenal”.

In this re-telling, Otto Vermis, originally recruiting her into HYDRA, is rather an old, retired HYDRA agent who Jessica seduces in order to gain information that will lead her to her mother.

Deadpool V2 (2008)

In 2008, a new Deadpool ongoing series written by Daniel Way with artist Paco Medina began as a Secret Invasion tie-in. In the first arc, the character is seen working with Nick Fury to steal data on how to kill the Skrull queen VerankeNorman Osborn steals the information that Deadpool had stolen from the Skrulls, and subsequent stories deal with the fallout from that. Writer Daniel Way explained, “the first thing Osborn does to try and take care of the situation is to bring in a hired gun to take Deadpool down, which would be Tiger-Shark. That would be the standard thing to do, but of course everything about Deadpool is non-standard. So it goes completely awry and Norman has to get more serious about things.” The story also sees the return of Bob, Agent of HYDRA; “I don’t want the book to become ‘Deadpool and Friends’ so characters will drift in and out, but Bob was someone I definitely wanted to bring in. It just had to be at the perfect moment and when I was putting this storyline together that moment presented itself.”

Deadpool V2 #5 NM $8

Solar, Man of the Atom (1991)

Valiant’s Solar, Man of the Atom began with three multi-part stories all written by Jim Shooter: “Alpha and Omega” with artwork by Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Layton, spanned the first ten issues and told of the origin story of how the protagonist, Phil Seleski, became Solar, until the time he accidentally destroys the world; “Second Death”, with artwork by Don Perlin, Bob Layton and Thomas Ryder, spanned the first four issues and tells of Seleski’s attempt to prevent another version of himself from destroying the world; “First Strike”, with artwork by Don Perlin and Stan Drake, spanned issues #5 to #8 and follows Solar as he fights spider aliens. These first year stories included first appearances by Eternal Warrior, the Harbinger FoundationGeomancers, and the X-O Manowar armor – all of which would be spun off into their own series.

The Flash (1970’s)

In 1956, DC Comics successfully revived superheroes, ushering in what became known as the Silver Age of comic books. Rather than bringing back the same Golden Age heroes, DC rethought them as new characters for the modern age. The Flash was the first revival, in the aptly named tryout comic book Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956).

This new Flash was Barry Allen, a police scientist who gained super-speed when bathed by chemicals after a shelf of them was struck by lightning. He adopted the name The Flash after reading a comic book featuring the Golden Age Flash. After several more appearances in Showcase, Allen’s character was given his own title, The Flash, the first issue of which was #105 (resuming where Flash Comics had left off).

X-Men (Silver Age)

Early X-Men issues introduced the original team composed of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, BeastAngel and Iceman among a few others, their archenemy Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants featuring Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Toad. The comic focused on a common human theme of good versus evil and later included storylines and themes about prejudice and racism, all of which have persisted throughout the series in one form or another. The evil side in the fight was shown in human form and under some sympathetic beginnings via Magneto, a character who was later revealed to have survived Nazi concentration camps only to pursue a hatred for normal humanity. His key followers, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, were Romani. Only one new member of the X-Men was added, Mimic/Calvin Rankin, but soon left due to his temporary loss of power.

The title lagged in sales behind Marvel’s other comic franchises. In 1969, writer Roy Thomas and illustrator Neal Adams rejuvenated the comic book and gave regular roles to two recently introduced characters: Havok/Alex Summers (who had been introduced by Roy Thomas before Adams began work on the comic) and Lorna Dane, later called Polaris (created by Arnold Drake and Jim Steranko). However, these later X-Men issues failed to attract sales and Marvel stopped producing new stories with issue #66, later reprinting a number of the older comics as issues #67–93.

 

Rōnin (1983)

Ronin (formally written as Rōnin) is a limited series published between 1983 and 1984, by DC Comics. The series was written and drawn by Frank Miller with artwork painted by Lynn Varley. It takes place in a dystopic near-future New York in which a ronin is reincarnated. The six-issue work shows some of the strongest influences of manga and bande dessinée on Miller’s style, both in the artwork and narrative style.

Ronin was in part inspired by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima‘s manga series Kozure Okami. (Though Kozure Okami would receive an English localization several years later as Lone Wolf and Cub, at the time Miller could not read the text and had to rely on the artwork for his understanding of the story.) According to former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter, Ronin was originally slated to be released as part of Marvel’s Marvel Graphic Novel series. Ultimately, however, Miller was persuaded by publisher Jenette Kahn that DC Comics would give him as much freedom as he desired for the series, and the first issue of Ronin was published by that company in 1983.

Daredevil (1980’s)

During the 80’s Frank Miller was hired to continue the title and did so in a similar vein to previous writer  Roger McKenzie. Resuming the drastic metamorphosis the previous writer had begun, Miller took the step of essentially ignoring all of Daredevil’s continuity prior to his run on the series; on the occasions where older villains and supporting cast were used, their characterizations and history with Daredevil were reworked or overwritten. Most prominently, dedicated and loving father Jack Murdock was reimagined as a drunkard who physically abused his son Matt, entirely revising Daredevil’s reasons for becoming a lawyer. Spider-Man villain Kingpin was introduced as Daredevil’s new nemesis, displacing most of his large rogues gallery. Daredevil himself was gradually developed into an antihero. In issue #181 (April 1982), he attempts to murder one of his arch-enemies by throwing him off a tall building; when the villain survives as a quadriplegic, he breaks into his hospital room and tries to scare him to death by playing a two-man variation on Russian roulette with a secretly unloaded gun. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that “Almost immediately, [Miller] began to attract attention with his terse tales of urban crime.” Miller’s revamping of the title was controversial among fans, but it clicked with new readers, and sales began soaring, the comic returning to monthly status just three issues after Miller came on as writer.

Chamber of Chills (1972)

The title was one of four launched by Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Roy Thomas to form a line of science fiction and horror anthologies with more thematic cohesiveness than the company’s earlier attempts that decade, which had included such series as Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows. Whereas those titles generally presented original stories, these new books would instead adapt genre classics and other works.

With the four titles’ debuts set to be staggered over the course of four months, Marvel premiered Journey into Mystery vol. 2 (Oct. 1972),Chamber of Chills (Nov. 1972), Supernatural Thrillers (Dec. 1972), and, with a late start, Worlds Unknown (May 1973). The first issue features an original six-page story by science fiction novelist George Alec Effinger, “Moon of Madness, Moon of Fear”, penciled by P. Craig Russell (then credited as Craig Russell), and a slightly retitled adaptation of the Harlan Ellison short story “Delusions for a Dragon Slayer”, by writer Gerry Conway and artist Syd Shores; in-between was a story by writer Stan Lee and artist Russ Heath, “They Wait in Their … Dungeon”, reprinted from Menace #1 (March 1953), from Marvel’s 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics.

The bimonthly series ran exclusively new material through issue #4, with one reprinted story added to the mix for the following two issues, and only one new story in issue #7, after which the series became all-reprint. Most of the reprinted stories were 1950s “pre-Code” horror stories, which the industry self-censorship organization the Comics Code Authority had forbidden on Code-approved comics until a loosening of the Code in 1971.