Tag Archives: Colossus

Top 5 Superhero Resurrections

It’s on everyone’s mind this time of year. Back from the grave, back to save humanity. In a long-overdue return of Four Color Top 5’s, here’s a TPB reading list of my favorite Superhero Resurrection stories.

A tale as old as time. Superhero dies valiantly; a world mourns. And, after the requisite grieving process has run its course, superhero comes back, typically in dramatic fashion. Sometimes the death story is more interesting than the actual return (sorry, Flash). Sometimes neither the death nor the resurrection seems particularly profound (looking at you, Psylocke), and the time spent on the Other Side amounts to little more than an extended sabbatical. But in certain special cases, we get epic yarns like the following.

IMG_0602Jonathan Hickman loves The End of Times. His parting shot to Marvel was to culminate a three-year “Everything Dies” Avengers storyline with the Secret Wars event, opening the doors for the All New All Different universe. Before he destroyed realities and made Dr. Doom a god, however, he was wrapping up a memorable run on Marvel’s First Family, The Fantastic Four.

In the “Three” storyline, Johnny Storm, who has long had a reputation as a self-centered, narcissistic attention whore, sacrifices himself to fend off a Negative Zone invasion from Annihilus and his scary-ass Annihilation Wave. Spider-Man joins the team, and they operate as “FF” for several months until The Human Torch makes his dramatic return.

All of Hickman’s Fantastic Four stories are worth checking out. His science-forward plots always seemed more appropriate to this title than The Avengers but, hell, he did some good stuff there too. But what really makes this particular pair of trades stand out is the way Hickman brings Johnny back to life. And this isn’t a thought-he-was-dead-but-he-really wasn’t scenario (we’ll see some of those below). The Torch was dead. Really dead. And not to spoil anything, but his resurrection tale involves bugs, Galactus, and Annihilus on a leash. It’s legitimately fantastic and might just wash away the bad taste left by yet another failed movie attempt.

5. The Human Torch

Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman Vol. 4 (2013)

For weeks leading up to his demise, we knew someone on the FF was going to bite it. The arc was called “Three,” after all. And the Internet was wild with speculation as to which one it was going to be (my money had been on Reed). Props to Hickman for making one-in-four odds so engaging and surprising.

Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman Vol. 5 (2013)

Just because this is “Volume 5” doesn’t mean Johnny was dead for only a few months. There’s a gap in between the two books, but the volumes read fluidly regardless. It’s the best run on Fantastic Four in – no kidding – about thirty years.

Continue reading Top 5 Superhero Resurrections

Four Color Primer: Colossus

The first appearance of Colossus (1975)
The first appearance of Colossus (1975)

I don’t know what to expect from Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool film, which opens today. Miller is normally a vfx director, graphics designer, and animator; this will be his first feature, written by Zombieland scribes, Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick. If you’ve been keeping up with Idle Time’s ANAD Marvel project, you know that Deadpool is a big part of the Marvel Comics relaunch, probably in part to promote the film (it’s nice to see the two studios play nice). I hadn’t had a lot of experience with Deadpool prior to these comics, and I’m still on the fence about him. His never-ending retorts and meta-humor are genuinely funny in the comics, but I find Reynolds’s first-person voiceover and sarcastic delivery more obnoxious than charming since I stopped being sixteen. When I first heard news that Deadpool was getting a movie, I didn’t care, but then the trailer came out. Deadpool is sourced from the X-men universe, and that’s why 20th Century Fox can make a movie about him. And, in the preview, one of the all-time coolest X-men appears to have a role in the film: Colossus.

Though there are a lot of mundane details about Colossus, his family is shrouded in mysticism. To begin, C-Lo’s real name is Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin, and he was born in Lake Baikal, Siberia on the Ust-Ordynski Collective farm. That’s where he’s found by Professor Xavier, toiling in the fields: a giant, literal man of steel tossing bales of hay.

Professor X recruiting Piotr from Giant Size X-Men #1 (1975)
Professor X recruiting Piotr from Giant Size X-Men #1 (1975)

Xavier’s trying to recruit Piotr because all of the original X-Men, save Cyclops, have gone missing on the island of Krakoa, and Professor X is mounting a rescue. It is probably the most touching of any of the recruitments, as Piotr reluctantly leaves his family to see if his powers can better the world. But leaving his younger sister bothers him to his core, mostly because of his brother. Continue reading Four Color Primer: Colossus