After 30 years of comic reading to back up my trivia of the Marvel Universe, WizKids has finally stumped me on multiple occasions with this set. I'm talking about the set list, that roster of names that is a roll call for the latest HeroClix expansion: Galactic Guardians.
I consider myself to be well versed in the annals of comic history. If Spy Smasher or B'wana (nee Freedom) Beast appears on the JLU, I can point them out to anyone in the room. And for years I suffered through game after game and venue after venue with people that never really read a comic in their life, and only knew figures based on one of 3 critera:
Inevitably with every set release I'd run into someone who didn't know anything about someone who I figured was a B or even C-lister. Lobo? Who's that? Adam Strange? Never heard of him. She-Thing? Did Ben get turned into a woman? Etc Etc. Thankfully the character cards got rid of the problem of explaining who some of these morts were.
1.) They saw them in a movie.
2.) They saw them on tv.
3.) The figure has an amazing HeroClix dial.
Today, I'm ashamed to admit that I'm *that* guy.
I'm the one scratching my head saying Replica? Isn't that a Green Lantern villain? Blood Brother? Didn't he fight the Teen Titans? Morg? Who? I blame the craptacular 90's for my ignorance, as I dropped Marvel Comics from my read list right before Thanos came back from the dead (really, he was dead, my Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe told me!) and started collecting jewelry for his girlfriend (boyfriend?).
It turns out I was wrong to blame the craptacular 90's, or rather foster all the blame in that decade. Some of the figures are much newer (again, I don't read much of the current stuff), and surprisingly one dates back to before I was born! So here's a breakdown of the characters on the set list I didn't immediately recognize.
Their first appearance was in a 1973 Iron Man Comic (#55) where they were featured as Thanos' henchmen. Their power increases the closer they are together, which is represented in their dial. And here I thought they were some 90's take on WWE fighters.
A relatively new character that appeared in 2006 as part of the Annihilation Wave story. Ravenous is a Negative Zone baddie, one of Annihilus's generals, sent on a special mission to hunt down the Heralds of Galactus.
Red Shift was a Herald of Galactus which meant he had the Power Cosmic. Too bad that wasn't enough to keep him from his fate as one of those Ferro Lad/Morph/Warpath characters (ie: doomed from the moment they are created). Red Shift appears in a handful of issues before being killed in the line of duty during the Annihilation event.
Morg's first appearance was at the height of Infinity War in Silver Surfer #69, about two years after I stopped reading the title. A rather amoral Herald of Galactus, Morg seems a lot like Terrax on the surface which is probably why Terrax killed him. As it happens in comics, Morg eventually got better only to apparently die again.
Appearing in an issue of Thanos (#11, 2008) the Fallen One was revealed to be the first of Galactus's Heralds and is one of those type of characters that has a mysterious past, so there's not a lot known about him, or why he quit punching the clock for the Big G.
While I'm not familiar with the character I am familiar with the team she was on: The Guardians of the Galaxy (old school). Everything you need to know you can tell just by looking at her - she's a Skrull, so she has Beast Boy like shapechange abilities, and the skin tone to match.
I also can't help but look at Replica and see the alternate Ben Grimm with pink bat-wings from What If the Fantastic Four had Gained Different Powers?
And that's about it for the "I didn't know that."
This set, like Hammer of Thor, or Web of Spider-man feels very tightly themed, and it makes me a little wistful for what DC HeroClix could accomplish if they picked a Legion of Super-Heroes or 4th World theme instead of constantly picking some "blanket" anniversary theme.
I mean they can't even bother to put Jimmy Olsen in a friggin' Superman set... but that's a rant for another day.