Arkon

The second character from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2…is actually the same character. Well, sort of. Among the many roles we see Nathan Fillion‘s Simon Williams portray, there’s Arkon, the barbarian protagonist of the movie of the same name. Well, Arkon is a Marvel comics’ character as well, an alien barbarian who indeed, after appearing on Earth several times, inspired a series of movies Simon Williams played a part in. If it wasn’t for Fillion, who shared a picture of a deleted scene from the movie (it can be an actual scene from the fictional Arkon movie or simply the actor joking on the set), we’d see nothing more of the barbarian king but a small picture on a poster: this way, instead, we can take a look at Arkon in all his magnificent glory. Well, in the comics he looks slightly better. Let’s see together.

Arkon was born from a noble family on distant planet Polemachus, a warmongering world that valued strength and battle prowess over everything else, and in which the strong ones ruled over the others. Bent over perfecting himself in the art of war, Arkon became one of the greatest warriors of his planet, until nobody could match his strength nor his skills: recognising his valor, his people appointed him Imperion of the country, and from his position of ruler Arkon started a series of campaigns against the other states following the ambition to conquer the entire Polemachus. In the middle of his dreams of glory, however, Arkon was brought back to reality when the entire world suffered an impossible chrisis: the planet’s rings, that provided Polemachus with light and heat, were rapidly fading, and if they were to disappear, the entire planet would have died soon after. Arkon entrusted Grand Vizier Greybeard and the other scientists to find a solution, and they found out that the atomic energy dispersed by the expolosions occuring on a distant planet, Earth, had found a way to influence Polemachus’ rings extradimensionally, rekindling them for a year: they announced that, if Earth was atomically annihilated, the rings would have been restored for good. Polemachus, however, didn’t know atomic weaponry, so Arkon needed to find a way to reach the distant planet: using an ancient Polemachian spell, he manipulated an alien sorceress, Scarlet Witch, to summon him on Earth and, once the portal was open, he crossed it with his army. As a first thing, Arkon kidnapped a number of nuclear scientists, forcing them to build an atomic device he would have used to blow the planet up; then, he also kidnapped the Scarlet Witch, wanting such a powerful woman to become his bride…thus attracting the attention of her teammates, the Avengers. The Avengers and the Polemachians fought hard in New York City, and Arkon single-handedly managed to fight to a stand most of the heroes at the Empire State Building, but he was soon reached by a message from Greybeard: two Avengers, Iron Man and Thor, had crossed the portal to Polemachus and had restored the rings, so destroying Earth wasn’t required anymore. Grateful, Arkon abandoned Earth and his chosen bride, and came back to his world.

The warlord, now known as Arkon the Magnificent, continued his conquest until he actually managed to bend the entire Polemachus under his dominion, but despite this he found himself battling the Avengers again, as he recognised in Black Knight, who was looking for the Well at the Centre of Time, a dangerous enemy to be imprisoned and executed; of course, Earth’s heroes came to the rescue, but Arkon realised he had been manipulated by a powerful sorceress, Amora the Enchantress, who wanted to use him against her enemies. As soon as he realised this, he ceased hostilities. His repeated contacts with Earth had given Greybeard and the other scientists enough knowledge to obtain and use atomic bombs on Polemachus as well, and Arkon was eager to play with his new toys…but he found it extremely boring to wait such a long time to build a nuclear arsenal, so he tried to start an interplanetary war to absorb the resulting energy and speeding up the process; this plan however failed, as the Fantastic Four intervened to stop him (Earth was among the planets involved). As soon as his relationship with Earth heroes was about to become a bad one again, however, Arkon made quite a mess with Iron Man’s machine that preserved Polemachus’ rings; again, the warlord travelled to Earth, trying to make Thor come back with him and recharge the machine once again, but he couldn’t find him. He, however, found a good replacement in another hero who could manipulate lightnings, Storm, and she agreed to help him along with the other X-Men. Once the work was done, Arkon granted them safe passage back to Earth. He even made up with the Fantastic Four when they helped Polemachus repel the invasion of the Badoon, an ancient race of malicious aliens. Now, Arkon considered Earth’s heroes as allies…until Amora, who wanted to manipulate the warlord into killing Doctor Strange and Clea in her place, informed him that on Earth movies had been made about him, movies that portrayed him under quite a bad light. The barbarian king rushed on Earth, ready to challenge the movie’s actor, the hero Wonder Man, and to punish him for denigrating his image: apparently, being allies wasn’t a stable condition for a man devoted to war.

Arkon the Magnificent is a proud and strong-willed monarch, a man who’s been forged by countless battles and who values honor and valor over everything else. As the most powerful Polemachian in life, he’s superhumanly strong, fast, durable, agile and resistant, and he heals much faster than a human; he’s a brilliant tactician and a superb fighter in both armed and unarmed combat; he excells in swordmanship and in the use of spears and daggers, and he’s an expert rider of Polemachian reptilian steeds; his trademark Bolts have different functions depending on their color: the golden ones open portals to other worlds, the red ones are effective throwing weapons which turns to pure energy once they hit their target, and the black ones are explosives powerful enough to level a mountain. An invincible warrior and a respected Imperion, Arkon embodies the power of Polemachus, a planet thriving in war and conflicts, recognizing only the honor of weapons.

Simon Williams (Wonder Man)

Of course, the biggest news these days is the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a movie that’s impressively filled with cameos and surprise appearances (as usual, it will take a while to get a pic for each one of them: stay tuned to learn everything you can about them). Let’s start from an announced photo cameo, the one and only Simon Williams, an actor portrayed in-movie by Nathan Fillion. Williams only appears on some posters, the ones for his many movies, that include a Tony Stark biopic, the fantasy Arkon, the horror Axan 2, the romantic comedy Oh, Rebecca! (pictured) and the superhero-parody Toxic Janitor 2. In the comics, Williams is indeed an actor, but he’s also Wonder Man, an impossibly powerful superhero…who dies roughly as many times as Kenny in South Park. Let’s see together.

Simon Williams was born in PatersonNew Jersey, the son of rich industrialist Sanford Williams and of his wife Martha. Simon, a skinny bookworm, grew up in the shadow of his older brother, Eric, but when he refused to enter Williams Innovation as his father’s successor, the youngest Williams stepped in, eager to earn his place in the family. Sanford taught his son everything he could about management, but he died when Simon was little more than twenty years old, and although young and inexperienced, Simon inherited total control over the company. Despite his best efforts, Simon wasn’t exactly able to run the company in an increasingly competitive market, and started losing ground to emerging companies such as Stark Industries: desperate, he looked for Eric’s advice, since his older brother had managed to get rich on his own. Unfortunately, what Simon didn’t know was that Eric was indeed a succesful man, but only because he had become involved with the Maggia crime families; the advice he gave to his younger brother was one you could expect from a gangster, as he told Simon to embezzle Williams Innovation’s funds to invest them into Maggia activities. Trustful and desperate to protect his father’s legacy, Simon did as he was told…but he was immediately caught into stealing the company’s money, and when the board discovered he was involved with renowned criminals, they had him arrested, put on trial and sent to jail. Distraught, humiliated and embittered, Williams declared to the press that he blamed Tony Stark for what had happened to him…a declaration that attracted the attention of Baron Zemo, who was looking for a way to get revenge on his enemy, Iron Man (who, at the time, he believed to be Stark’s bodyguard). Zemo sent one of his Masters of EvilAmora the Enchantress, to break Simon Williams out of jail, then brought him to his base in South America where he offered the disgraced businessman a way to get his revenge: he would have been subjected to an experimental treatment to gain superpowers. Williams accepted, and gained power enough to effortlessly defeat the mighty Executioner in his first test.

Of course, albeit holding a grudge against Stark, and being naive to a fault in trusting the likes of the Masters of Evil, Simon was no supervillain…but Zemo ensured his total cooperation by informing him that, as a side-effect of the experiment, he would have died if he didn’t receive a special antidote once a week. Obviously not wanting to die, Williams agreed to do what Zemo told him: the Baron renamed him “Wonder Man”, and instructed him to win the Avengers‘ trust and to join them, only to betray them when the time came. Soon after, Zemo staged a battle between the Avengers and the Masters of Evil, with Wonder Man readily intervening to save the heroes; introducing himself, Wonder Man told them he suffered from an incurable disease, that he was about to die and that he wanted to do something good with his life before passing away. The Avengers fell for it, and Giant-Man even worked hard to find a cure for his state, but to no avail. Eventually, the time came that Wonder Man was ordered to lure the Avengers into a trap, but in the meanwhile he had experimented on himself how truly good-hearted and heroic they were: feeling giulty, he chose to rebel to the Masters of Evil, and battled them alongside the heroes, only to “die” immediately after for the lack of his serum, happy to have done something good with the last moments of his life. Obviously, this wasn’t the end for Williams, as his “death” was just a coma caused by the unstable nature of his new ionic body. During his unconsciousness, Wonder Man’s body was collected and used by many, as his consciousness was downloaded by Ultron to create the mind pattern for his creation, The Vision, and later even his brother Eric, who in the meanwhile had become the villainous Grim Reaper, tried to use his remains to defeat the Avengers. He was also used as a puppet by villains like Kang the Conqueror and Black Talon, but every time he was resurrected as a “zombie” he was much weaker than before…basically because he was sleepwalking. Finally, the ionic hero returned to true life, just in time to help his fellow Avengers against heavy-hitters such as Attuma, Doctor Doom and Graviton. He “came back to life” with quite a psychological trauma, after all those years in a coffin, but thanks to his friends, Beast especially, he was ready to face them to become the hero he wanted to.

Simon Williams is a well-meaning but impulsive man, who wishes to do good in his life but ends up embracing an embarassing number of bad choices…always finding the courage and the will to amend, of course. As Wonder Man, he’s a being composed of pure ionic energy, a unique nature that grants him a variety of abilities: he’s impossibly strong, pretty much invulnerable, impervious to fatigue, extremely fast, gifted with enhanced senses and theoretically immortal, since he doesn’t age and he can heal from any kind of wound to any extent (a characteristic that allows him to come back from the dead over and over again); he’s also able to fly, to alter his size and to manipulate ionic energy into powerful blasts, and possibly even more, since the full extent of his powers is still unknown, mostly due to the traumas that prevent him to fully explore them. Hurt but not broken, Wonder Man is a phoenix who constantly rises from his ashes, always trying to be the hero he desperately longs to be, in a constant struggle between his fragile psyche and his inhumanly powerful body.

Melissa Bowen

After a brief hiatus, we come back with the third and last character appearing in the first Cloak and Dagger‘s trailer: Melissa Bowen, portrayed by Andrea Roth. In the show, Melissa will be Tandy‘s mother, and apparently she’s been turned into a much more sympathetic character, an optimist by nature who stands by her daughter’s side despite the many difficulties they face together. This makes her quite different from the selfish and self-centered character we learnt to know in the comics, and it’s quite unsure what this will mean for Tandy’s origin story, since her complicated relationship with her mother was a big part of the reason she ran away from home in the first place. Anyway, waiting to meet a brand new version of Melissa Bowen, let’s take a look at the original, bitchy one.

Not much is known about Melissa Bowen’s early life, but she was born most likely in Ohio, from an unknown but certainly wealthy family. She grew up with her older brother, Michael Bowen, but the two of them couldn’t be more different one from the other: while Melissa was pretty much self-centered and vain, Michael was selfless and altruist. The ridge between the two of them became even more apparent when, after he came back from the Korean War that deeply shocked him, Michael decided to become a priest, while Melissa, who was a renowned socialite even when she was little more than a girl, started a career as a super-model (something that certainly didn’t quell her ego). When Michael moved to New York City, since he wanted to stay closer to poor and needy people, the relationship between him and Melissa certainly grew colder, but they never really broke it, considering that, differences aside, they truly loved each other. Still young and beautiful, Melissa met a rich and fascinating businessman, Nathan Tyler, who became quite smitten by her; albeit she didn’t exactly love him, she agreed to marry him, seeing in his wealth a promising boost to her career. Melissa’s calculations were clearly well-based, as she saw her popularity grow enormously thanks to her husband’s influence, and she became more famous (and richer) than she had ever hoped for.

After some time, Melissa got pregnant, and even if this meant a hiatus in her modelling career, she found out that being a mother was a blessing to her popularity. She gave birth to a daughter, Tandy, and she insisted on giving her her surname rather than Nathan’s, planning on the baby’s career as her successor as a model even before she could say a single word or move a step. In this time, her relationship with her brother Michael grew closer again, as the priest enjoyed to spend some time with his baby niece, soon becoming Tandy’s favourite uncle. In the meanwhile, however, Melissa’s relation with her husband was quickly deteriorating, and she eventually divorced him, ignoring the pleads of her daughter who deeply loved her father; Tandy was heartbroken when Nathan was estranged from her life, and even more when, distrupt, he left the country to look for enlightnment in India…but Melissa didn’t care much about it, as she had obtained in the divorce Nathan’s hestate, quite a substantial profit. Albeit she was now a single mother, Melissa didn’t pay much attention to Tandy, taking care of her own career in need of a reboot; even her love life received a change for the better when Michael introduced her to one of his former comrades, Phillip Carlisles, a good-hearted man who quite unexpectedly managed to win Melissa’s affection. Once again ignoring Tandy, who wanted her father back and not a substitute, the woman married Phillip, who actually turned out to be an excellent stepfather, loving and caring as much as Melissa was distant and disinterested. Years of neglecting her daughter, eventually, paid a price, and when Tandy was fifteen, she ran away from home; while Phillip was heartbroken for this and immediately went after the girl, Melissa was pretty much unbiased: if being a mother brought her popularity, a personal tragedy such as this one could only improve her situation even more…

Melissa Bowen is a selfish and egotistic woman, who’s barely able to realize somebody besides her exists. Beautiful and rich, she always had whatever she wanted in her life, and she’s simply used to have it that way. Incapable of feeling any true love for anybody but herself, Melissa is exactly where she wants to be in her life: at the top.

Tandy Bowen (Dagger)

And here were are, for the second half of the couple who will hit our screens in the upcoming Cloak & Dagger: Dagger, of course. In the show, Tandy Bowen will be portrayed by Olivia Holt, and she’ll apparently suffer quite a change from her comicbook counterpart: she’ll be always a member of a rich Southern family, but she’ll end up on the streets pretty early on in her story, and she’ll become a thief along with her boyfriend Liam. The same accident that gave Tyrone Johnson his ability to emit and control darkness will give her the one to create light daggers (hence the name), and she’ll eventually break up with Liam, we don’t know yet if peacefully or not, to be with Tyrone instead. That’s as much as we know as for now, so now it’s time to take a look at the original Tandy, another well-known and beloved character in the comics.

Tandy Bowen was born in Shaker HeightsOhio, a wealthy suburb of Cleveland. She was the daughter of Nathan Tyler, a rich landlord, and of his wife, Melissa Bowen, a famous model who pretty much thought only of herself (and who insisted to have Tandy inherit her surname, wanting to “open a road” for her when she would have become a model too). When she was still a kid, Nathan and Melissa divorced, with the first leaving the country altogether to seek inner peace and enlightment in India; Tandy was deeply hurt by her father’s departure, but Melissa wasn’t exactly the best person to understand her pain and to do something about it, quite the opposite: soon after, obviously without caring for her daughter’s feelings, she married another man, Phillip Carlisle. Phillip was a nice man and a caring stepfather, but Tandy didn’t accept him nevertheless, always thinking of her real father. Missing the presence of the one person who she perceived had truly loved her, a sixteen-years-old Tandy eventually started a relationship with an older boy, Rob Daltry, searching in him all the love she was missing…but eventually Rob had to leave for college, and this broke Tandy’s heart once again. Not wanting to stay a day more in a house she didn’t feel loved in, Tandy made up her mind and took the first bus to New York City, leaving behind her previous life. Her first encounter with the Big Apple, however, wasn’t exactly the nicest one, as almost immediately a man stole her purse and ran away; luckily enough, another young man stopped the first one and won her purse back, giving it back to her. Grateful, and realizing that her savior was in need as well, Tandy bought him some food: the young man was Tyrone Johnson, and he had run away from home just as she had, albeit for different reasons. The two became fast friends. Immediately after, a group of men arrived and offered the two teens some food and shelter: naive to a fault, Tandy agreed to follow them, and a mistrustful Tyrone followed her just to make sure this wasn’t some kind of trap. The latter, unfortunately, turned out to be right, and they both got kidnapped.

This goons weren’t “regular” kidnappers, however, as they were working for Dr. Simon Marhsall, a criminal scientist who was testing for Maggia a synthetic heroine, D-Lite…unfortunately, all the teen runaways he had used as test subjects had died in the process. Tandy and Tyrone, however, were different from the others, and the drug awakened some latent mutant gene they both possessed: after being experimented on, they escaped, jumping into the Hudson. When they reemerged, they found they had gained superhuman abilities: Tandy was glowing with light in the dark, and she soon found out she could make that very light a solid object; Tyrone, on the opposite, was now a being of pure darkness. By common accord, the two decided to use their newfound powers to protect other street kids from the dangers they had faced, and they named themselves Cloak & Dagger. First things first, they found themselves forced to defend themselves from Marshall’s men, who had come to collect the only surviving guinea pigs: Dagger struck them down with her light projectiles, while Cloak absorbed them into the darkness he was, killing each one of them. Then, they started hunting for the scientist himself: during their quest, they obviously needed food and shelter, and Tandy, born in a devout Catholic family, asked for help to Father Delgado, a priest who welcomed them in his church. While looking for Marshall, Cloak & Dagger met people who started influencing them to pursue another path, rather than the murderous vigilantes’ one: Brigit O’Reilly, a police detective, and Spider-Man, a young superhero Dagger took quite a liking to, and she even began flirting with him, causing Tyrone’s jealousy (unbeknownst to Tandy, in fact, Cloak loved her more than just as a friend). Despite Spider-Man’s teachings, however, Cloak still killed, as it was difficult for him not to due to the nature of his powers, and this brought to Simon Marshall’s death; Dagger, on her part, stayed with him, and eventually found out that her light powers could feed Cloak’s darkness enough for him not to consume living people. As friends or as something more, the two of them had become apparently inseparable…

Tandy Bowen is a good-hearted and cheerful young woman, who instinctively trusts others and who has no true experience on street life, relying for that on her best friend (and later lover) Tyrone. As Dagger, she’s a living generator of Lightforce, a form of “living light” that grants her several abilities: she can summon daggers of solid light that she throws with expertise, and once they hit someone she has visions on how their life can be different if “enlightened” (and the victims usually change their lives, once touched by Lightforce); through the daggers, she can either absorb people’s lifeforce to incapacitate them or even kill them, or she can on the opposite heal them from poisons, drugs and toxins; she can also create light halos and sometimes forcefields. The day to Cloak’s night, Dagger is a girl full of passion and joy, bent on a violent crusade, but in a way that quells her partner’s brutality, while his seriousness helps her remain focused.

Tyrone Johnson (Cloak)

Next trailer for the future tv series is Cloak and Dagger, another piece of the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first trailer briefly showed us the origin of the two protagonists, and let’s start from the one who comes first in the title: Cloak, portrayed by Aubrey Joseph. In the show, Tyrone Johnson is a African-American teenager, a basketball player who risks to die in a dangerous clash with an unknown force; an incident gives him the power to generate and manipulate darkness, an ability that will put him in close contact with Tandy Bowen, a girl with the power to generate and manipulate light, whom he’ll fall in love with. Now, waiting to see what this new series will bring on the table of the MCU, let’s take a look at the original superhero…whose powers end up becoming quite creepy.

Tyrone Johnson was born in South Boston, son of Otis Johnson. Raised from a poor family in the slums, Ty developed quite a stutter since he was a kid, a handicap that made it difficult for him to bond with the other kids; despite this, he proved to be a good student, overcoming his speech difficulty mostly thanks to his best friend, Billy. He and Billy were quite inseparable, but one fateful day he and his friend, while in a store, witnessed an armed robber breaking in, killing the clerk and running away with the money; Billy, afraid that the policemen would have blamed them for the clerk’s death, ran as well, but this proved to be a mistake: the cops arrived, and seeing a black boy running away from the scene of a murder, pointed their gun on him. Ty tried to stop them proclaiming Billy’s innocence, but he started stuttering uncontrollably, and he couldn’t say a single clear word: as a result, the cops shot and killed Billy right in front of the seventeen-years old Tyrone. This resulted in quite a trauma for the teenager, and he ran away from home, trying to distance himself from his guilt and from a police he still feared. He arrived in New York City, in Manhattan, but he finished all his money with the bus ticket. With no other option at hand, he spotted a rich girl walking alone on the street, and considered robbing her…but someone preceeded him. Acting on instinct, Ty stopped the thief, and gave the purse back to the girl: she was Tandy Bowen, and Tyrone learnt that she was running away from home as well. The two became fast friends, and Ty immediately realized that the girl was quite naive, completely inexperienced regarding street life. The proof of this arrived almost immediately, as Tandy accepted the offer of a bunch of weird men who offered her a shelter: worried for his new friend, Ty accompanied her, and his suspicions proved to be well-based, as the men kidnapped them both and sold them to Simon Marshall, a chemist working for the criminal cartel Maggia. Marshall was testing a new synthetic drug, D-Lite, and Tyrone and Tandy had just become his new guinea pigs.

Most of the runaway teens who had been experimented on by Marshall didn’t live to tell the experience, as the synthetic heroine still had lethal side-effects; the modified formula didn’t kill Ty and Tandy, but it affected them in unexpected ways. The teens managed to escape, but soon Ty had to stop, finding himself victim of a strange hunger…then, he realised he was engulfed into pitch-black darkness. The darkness wasn’t engulfing Tyrone, however: the darkness was Tyrone, and his hunger came from a living portal that he now was that was absorbing any light in the nearby; Tandy, on the opposite, was glowing in light, and her presence eased Ty’s craving. Upon realizing they each had superhuman abilities, Tyrone and Tandy decided they had to stop Simon Marshall now that they had a chance to: covering his ghostly appearence with a cloak he found in an alley, Ty came back to the Maggia lab with his friend, and started absorbing in his darkness the goons Tandy struck down with her light daggers, until they managed to do the same with Simon Marshall. Seeing how powerful they were together, the teenagers declared an open war on crime, and named themselves Cloak & Dagger, new superheroes in New York. The duo started as brutal vigilantes, mercilessly killing criminals like Marshall who inflicted to others a pain similar to the one they had to endure; soon however they met Spider-Man, another superhero in town, who recognised them as young, misguided innocents rather than cold-blooded murderers, and decided to guide them. Cloak, however, felt the urge to consume living beings, so Spider-Man’s no-kill way appeared extremely difficult to follow for him. Ignoring the hero’s teachings, Cloak and Dagger tried to kill two of the top mob bosses in New York, Silvermane and Kingpin, but they failed; as a result, Dagger embraced Spider-Man’s values, and tried to make Cloak do the same, although she understood how difficult it was to him. Tyrone, eventually, started developing strong feelings for the girl who was now bonded to him in a way or the other, and he found himself reciprocated: now a couple in life and in crime-fighting, Cloak & Dagger were more formidable than ever.

Tyrone Johnson is a serious and dour young man, sometimes brutal in his crime-fighting and usually melancholy. As Cloak, he’s a living conduit to the Darkforce Dimension, a condition that grants him several abilities: he can create fields of darkness in his vicinity, a darkness that instills fear and cold in the ones affected by it to the point of turning them insane if overexposed; he can teleport by travelling through the Darkforce Dimension, bringing others along, he can fly, and he can become intangible (even if it’s more correct to say the opposite, as he’s usually intangible, and he has to concentrate to become solid again); from the Darkforce Dimension, the Predator compels him to consume living beings, draining them of their life force by absorbing them into a pocket dimension, but as Cloak found out, also Dagger’s light can quell his hunger for some time. Just as gloomy as the darkness he’s made of, but gifted with a heart of gold that puts him always on the frontline to protect the ones he love, Dagger especially, Cloak is a young man who tries to escape a destiny that keeps pulling him in the dark, grateful for the one ray of light he constantly has by his side.

Jackson W. Brice (Montana)

Another character’s name has been confirmed for the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, and it’s nobody anyone was expecting. We knew already that Logan Marshall-Green would have portrayed a subordinate of the Vulture, but now we learn that his character will be called Jackson Brice, quite a familiar name for the comics’ readers, as this is the real name of Montana, one of the Enforcers, among the very first enemies Spider-Man ever faced. In the show, Brice will be one of the scavangers who reverse-engineer several high-tech components to level up in his criminal activities, but in the comics he’s a renowned mercenary and a master of the lasso. It’s possible that this version of Brice will look to the animated The Spectacular Spider-Man‘s version, where he doesn’t get the Montana identity, but he becomes Shocker instead of Herman Schultz (who’ll be present in the movie)…but waiting for a confirmation, let’s take a look at the original one.

Not much is known about Jackson Brice’s early life: he was born in BozemanMontana, from an unknown family, and since he was very young he practiced with the lariat, until he became a master of it. Under unknown circumstances, he met Daniel Brito, an infallible marksman who went by the name Fancy Dan, and Raymond Bloch, called the Ox for his incredible strenght; the three of them had unique talents to put on the market and, wanting to capitalize them, they decided to enter business together as mercenaries, in a team of three they called the Enforcers. As a codename, Brice chose the name of his birth State, Montana. The trio earned quite a fame as goons for hire, offering their services to some of the most influent crime bosses of their time. At a certain point, they moved to New York City to enter the service of Frederick Foswell, aka Big Man, who wanted to take control of New York’s criminality. It was during this time that the Enforcers met the one hero who would have become their nemesis for a while: Spider-Man. At first, Montana managed to take him by surprise with his lasso, capturing him and restraining his movements, but eventually the hero overpowered them all, forcing them to retreat. Foswell, at the time a reporter for the Daily Bugle, was exposed as the Big Man and arrested, so the Enforcers became unemployed…but not for long, as they were soon hired by another kingpin-wannabe, the Green Goblin, who employed them in a desert battle against Spider-Man. Montana and his teammates nearly obtained a victory against Spider-Man, who was out of his usual environment, but the battle was abruptly interrupted by The Hulk, who was hiding in that same area, forcing the trio to retreat once again. When the Enforcers resurfaced, they had formed an alliance with Sandman to kidnap the Human Torch, and they nearly succeeded if it wasn’t, again, for Spider-Man, who intervened to save his friend. For the umpteenth time the Enforcers tried to defeat Spider-Man, this time working for Lightmaster, but things ended the same way as the previous ones.

Montana and the others didn’t want to start any particular private war with Spider-Man, especially considering how bad for business this was, so they soon tried to change their target, accepting a job from former industrialist Techmaster; this time, however, they were confronted and defeated by the mutant singer/vigilante Dazzler. Things didn’t go any better the moment they crossed paths with She-Hulk, who had them all arrested (luckily enough, in one piece). The trio came soon out of jail, but they suffered a loss as Ox fell victim to Karl Stragg, a scientist who apparently killed him in an effort to swap bodies with him; Montana and Fancy Dan recruited Raymond’s brother, Ronald Bloch, as the new Ox, and they resumed their business, entering Mr. Fear‘s services in his war to conquer Hell’s Kitchen. Obviously, Daredevil confronted the trio almost immediately, but he wasn’t a target, as the Enforcers primarily destroyed the activities of Fear’s rivals…who, however, had mercenaries on their own, as Montana discovered as he was faced by The Wrecker, a goon empowered by an enchanted weapon: as he soon found out, criminals were not so careful about his integrity as heroes were, and Montana barely made it out alive. In hospital he rejoined Fancy Dan, who had met the Wrecker after him, and the two escaped together, only to discover that Mr. Fear had lost the war. This, however, was not such a big problem, as the winner, The Hood, required their services instead. Montana didn’t like to work for the demonic crimeboss the least, and he often complained about how creepy he was, and how he always appeared out of thin air when someone was speaking about him. Plus, serving The Hood exposed them all to unusual supernatural threats, as they found out when Satana mind-controlled them to do her bidding, luckily enough releasing them all alive and well when they did what they had been ordered to. When The Hood lost his empire, the Enforcers came back to New York, just as Spider-Man was on a rampage, looking for the killer of Lily Hollister‘s baby: maybe it wasn’t exactly the best time to be back on business…

Jackson Brice is a man of no principle nor honor, a mercenary who only aims to profit and who sells his skills to the best bidder in order to achieve it. As Montana, he’s a skilled martial artist with total mastership over lariat, and he can use his lasso in a variety of unexpected and effective ways during battle. Usually overpowered when facing some masked hero, Montana is nevertheless one of the first names people like Big Man, Kingpin or The Hood call when they need some old-fashioned street thug, a “job” he still excels at.

Irving Forbush (Forbush Man)

Since Daredevil, in every single Marvel-Netflix tv series Stan Lee made his usual cameo in photo only, as a police officer appearing all around the city (more often in the police precinct) giving precious advices to the honest citizens of New York City. Well, in the last episode of Iron FistDragon Plays with Fire, in a recruitment poster for the NYPD, the character has been finally named Captain Irving Forbush…and this is quite a surprise, as not only he is a character from the comics, but he’s a parody character created by Stan Lee himself along with Jack Kirby, an unlikely superhero with a pot on his head as a helmet. This only makes the cameo even more enjoyable than it already was…and gives us the opportunity to meet one of the craziest characters from Marvel Comics, maybe on par with Howard the Duck. Let’s see together.

Very little is known about Irving Forbush’s early life: he was born in New York City, or something close to it, the alternate New York from Earth-665, a dimension inhabited by distorted and parodistic versions of Earth-616‘s heroes and villains. Irving was the son of Stan Forbush and his wife Jacqueline, and he managed to disappoint them from his very first instant of existence, since they wanted a daughter, and had him instead. Apparently, his parents’ grudge against his “wrong” gender was quite an issue, since they eventually abandoned him, and he started living with his tyrannical and moody Aunt Mayhem (and, sometimes, with Uncle Benny and his cousin Lance). He found a pathetic job as an office gofer for Marble Comics, a renowned comicbook company (whose chief was, of course, Stan Lee): mocked and underestimated by everyone, Irving knew he was meant for something greater, and he dreamed of becoming a superhero…albeit he had no ability nor skill at all. The only thing he believed he was missing, however, was a cool costume and a mask to conceal his identity, and if he found in a pair of red long johns with an “F” tailored on them his perfect uniform, he still missed a mask. It was Aunt Mayhem who provided one for him as, in a fit of rage, she slammed a cooking pot on her nephew’s head, thus giving him the idea: carving eye-holes in that very pot, Irving Forbush could finally become Forbush Man, “the greatest power in human history”…or, at least, so he claimed. Sure he was the hero people needed, Forbush Man made his public debut challenging the powerful villain known as Juggernut (a dumb version of Juggernaut), and surprised everyone by defeating him. Well, he did this not exactly thanks to non-existent powers, but due to pure luck, that brought the villan to basically defeat himself. The miracle, however, kept repeating itself over and over again, confirming Irving in his delusion of being the world’s greatest superhero.

After “defeating” a number of villains, there was still one thing Forbush Man needed for being a “true” hero: a group to be part of. He applied for membership in the Revengers (parody of the Avengers), S.H.E.E.S.H. (S.H.I.E.L.D.) and the Echhs-Men (X-Men), but everytime he ended up causing a series of incidents that nearly destroyed said teams. Finally, he was offered membership by Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reminiscent of Sgt. Fury‘s Howling Commandos), but he declined, seriously considering to retire as long as he was still regarded as an invincible hero (??). Unfortunately, he didn’t quit at all, quite the opposite, he faced another invincible foe in the form of Strangie (a dumb version of The Stranger), helped by the likes of Spidey-Man (Spider-Man), the Simple Surfer (Silver Surfer), The Thung and the Human Scorch (The Thing and the Human Torch)…and emerged miraculously victorious. Again. After laying low for a while, Forbush Man appeared once again, this time for his most ambitious mission ever: to collect the autograph of every single character in his comics series (yup, he knew he was a comic); eventually, however, he annoyed Rhinose (Earth-665’s Rhino) so much that the villain punched him out of the comic’s page itself, launching him in an alternate reality, Earth-8311, better known as Larval Earth, a world inhabited by animal parodies of Marvel heroes. In this new universe, Forbush Man unwillingly gave birth to a new supervillain, the Ironing Boar, simply by arriving, and he teamed up with Spider-Ham to defeat him…asking both the hero and the villain for an autograph for the entire battle. Eventually, with Ironing Boar defeated, Spider-Ham kicked Irving back to Earth-665…right in Rhinose’s apartment. After some time again, a mysterious company recruited Forbush Man (who now apparently had extremely powerful mind powers), Charlie America (Captain America), the Incredible Bulk (Hulk) and Giant-Sam (Giant-Man) into a brand new team, the New Paramount: Forbush Man finally had what he wanted, and he was a part of a great team…of supervillains, as it later turned out, as they were sent on Earth-616 to battle the heroic Nextwave.

Irving Forbush is a dumb and boastful man, who however happens to be gifted by an incredible luck that ends up supporting his unbelievable claims. As Forbush Man, his superpowers are quite impressive: he usually saves the universe so quickly that nobody even realize it’s in peril to begin with, and he claims to be “mighty with women”, albeit this last boast is even less believable than the first one; for a time he declared to possess the Forbush Vision, a mental ability that allowed him to project realistic illusions of a personal hell into his enemies’ mind, so vivid that the adversaries actually died in it…but the only known victims are alive and well, so this power as well is not confirmed; the only actual power he has is the ability to break the Fourth Wall and to annoy his authors as well. Either the best hero in history or the worst pretender of all time, most likely the second, Forbush Man is a living embarassment to anyone who knows him, and for everybody else. Unfortunately, he’s the only one who doesn’t realise it.