King Rorster’s Court: Top Marvel Stories

Due to the positive response from last week’s column on DC stories I figured that for this week’s edition of King Rorster’s Court, I’d shine a spotlight on some of my favourite Marvel Comics stories and their media counterparts (if any). Here we go:

Captain America: The Winter Solider

This is a bt of a cheat really in that this is really broken down into 4 consequetive volumes of Captain America Graphic Novels by Ed Brubaker that saw him re-introduce Cap’s wartime partner, Bucky, to the modern world as a secret weapon of Hydra. The story crosses over into the first Civil War event which also sees the death of Steve Rogers as a result and Bucky picking up the mantle of Captain America.

In Other Media: Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the second Captain America solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and draws heavy influence from Ed Brubaker’s fantastic run on Captain America.

Planet Hulk

Planet Hulk is an epic sci-fi fantasy that sees The Hulk jettisoned off into the far reaches of space by Marvel’s secret Illuminati (Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Black Bolt, Professor Xavier, Black Panther and Doctor Strange) to a strange planet called Sakaar where he is no longer the “Strongest there is” and sees him overcome insurmountable odds to eventually overthrow the ruler of the planet.

In Other Media: There is a fantastic animated adaption of this available and it looks like several elements are going to appear in Thor: Ragnorak later this year (as seen in the first trailer for the film which sees Thor step into the arena of Sakaar and come face to face with his opponent; The Incredible Hulk – complete with his Planet Hulk gladitorial armour.

The New Avengers (Post Civil War)

Ok, so again I’m cheating here by picking a run instead of a specific story. This entrie series was written by Brian Michael Bendis and the first couple of story arcs following Civil War were illustrated by Leinel Francis Yu. Following the Civil War event, Marvel’s heroes are divided between licenced and unlicenced heroes and the New Avengers follows Cap’s team of unlicenced heroes as they try to keep on Avenger-ing from the “underground”. The initial line up includes Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Echo, Clint Barton as Ronin and Spider-Woman and would later see Captain America (Bucky Barnes), Mockingbird, Powerwoman (Jessica Jones – who has been a supporting character in the series since issue 1) and Ms Marvel (Carol Danvers) join their ranks following Secret Invasion.

In Other Media: The New Avengers were featured in an episdoe of the animated series Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes but for an entirely original story and line up. This version saw Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Spider-Man team up with new additions War Machine and The Thing (Ben Grimm).

Secret Invasion

As you’ve probably read in a few of my other columns, Secret Invasion is one of my favourite storylines of all-time. The main book was written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Leinel Yu (as with the version of New Avengers I’ve mention prior). The scope of the storyline was incredible as it reached every single ongoing Marvel series and had repurcussions on the entire Marvel Universe that are still being felt today. The story was focused on a “Secret Invasion” by the shape-changing Skrull Empire who had been gradually replacing key figures in the superhuman community ready for a full scale invasion of Earth. This also marked the end of the post-Civil War landscape of the Unlicenced and Licenced heroes and kicked off a period known as “Dark Reign” which saw Norman Osborn become the head of SHIELD and launch his own team of Avengers.

In Other Media: Again, this story arc was wonderfully adapted into the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes animated series which took up the majority of season two, secretly. It saw Captain America get replaced early on and his skrull counterpart work hard to fracture the Avengers (including having the Hulk locked up) and also had a unique take on the event by showing the real Captain America attempt to escape his Skrull prison alongside a variety of Marvel heroes and villains and make their way back to Earth.

Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott

This is the biggest cheat on this list as this spans over 100 issues of Spider-Man comics! Dan Slott became the regular writer of Amazing Spider-Man with a storyline entitled Big Time which saw Peter Parker get hired by Horizon Labs as one of their scientists and saw Peter finally reach his scientific potential. His run has seen some major and definitve storylines namely Spider-Island, Spider-Verse and the entire Superior Spider-Man saga and currently has Peter running his own company in Parker Industries while taking Spider-Man global.

In Other Media: This hasn’t been adapted into any other media yet as every Spider-Man animated series this side of the year 2000 have focused on a young Peter Parker as opposed to an established and experienced one with most series lasting a few years then getting rebooted (the current one – Ultimate Spider-Man – being cancelled recently to make way for yet another aniimated reboot)

Old Man Logan

Old Man Logan is set in a distopian future where all of Marvel’s super villains banded together to take over the world and wipe out all of the good guys. Logan at this point is a pacifist and refuses to pop his claws for the most part until all manner of sh*t goes down. This is one of the greatest Marvel comics of all time and comes from the creative team behind Civil War in Mark Millar and Steve McNiven.

In Other Media: Certain elements of this were borrowed for the fantastic “Logan” by James Manigold which saw Hugh Jackman say goodbye to the role he’s been playing for 17 years earlier this year. There are a lot of huge differences and the only real influences are the settings, Logan’s appearance and the whole post-apocalyptic “road trip” vibe that both the movie and comic share.

Honorable Mentions: Wolverine: Enemy of the State, Secret Wars, Earth X, 1602, Venom: Space Knight, Wolverine: Origins, Wolverine: Return of the Native, Wolverine: Coyote Crossing, The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank, Deadpool: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage, JMS’s Spider-Man run, Ultimate X-Men, The Ultimates, Ultimate Spider-Man, Uncanny Avengers, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning’s Guardians of the Galaxy

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