What’s on Ronnie’s Calendar XII

It’s the end of the line for our 12-part series, “What’s on Ronnie’s Calendars?” I hope it’s meant as much to you as it has to me. As always, I would like to thank the Finleys and Jan O’Brien for making this segment possible.

Silver Surfer

I’m glad we’re wrapping things up with two class acts. One of the great Marvel characters, the Silver Surfer was born Norrin Radd on the planet Zenn-La.

In order to keep the planet-eating entity Galactus from chowing down on his homeworld, Norrin agreed to become the herald to Galactus. The Big G then covered Norrin with a silvery skin to protect him from the elements and gave him a surfboard for intergalactic transportation.

Jack Kirby = Genius.

It’s a good living until the Surfer discovers Earth and discovers the importance of humanity by an encounter with blind sculptress Alicia Masters, girlfriend of The Thing. The Surfer turns on Galactus and, with help from the Fantastic Four and The Watcher, turns the planet-eater away. In return for his insolence, Galactus strips the Surfer of his space-spanning powers, leaving him trapped on Earth among the hopeless rabble of humanity.

Eventually he makes it back into space and I believe he’s currently working for Galactus again. The Silver Surfer briefly had his own cartoon in 1998 and starred in the second “Fantastic Four” film where Galactus was portrayed as a big cyclone of space dust. Tim Story = Not Genius.

Black Widow

The “Women of Marvel” calendar ends with probably my favorite woman of Marvel — the Black Widow.

The Widow is one of those characters that is frequently having her back story changed by the writer-of-the-week, so I’m going to ignore all the changes that have taken place in recent years and tell you the story as it was originally set down in the ’60s.

Natasha Romanov was the wife of a Russian cosmonaut who was supposedly killed (he wasn’t, he was secretly being trained to be the Red Guardian) and in her grief she decides to become a Russian spy. That’s what grief will do to you sometimes.

Natasha’s first mission is to sabotage Stark industries, which of course is thwarted by Iron Man. She then runs into a guy with a bow and arrow and seduces him into helping her fight Iron Man. Natasha’s love for Hawkeye eventually causes her to defect and become a SHIELD agent and later an Avenger. She eventually dumped Hawkeye and took up with Daredevil. She is currently dating Captain America’s old sidekick Bucky, who is currently Captain America.

The Black Widow has appeared in several mini-series and recently an ongoing series which I believe was just canceled. Scarlett Johansson portrayed the character in this summer’s  “Iron Man 2” and she currently sometimes appears in “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

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