We wrap up the first third of 2011 with an iconic Marvel character and one that’s not so classic.
My freebie Marvel calendar is celebrating April Fool’s Day, Passover and Easter with their flagship character — The Amazing Spider-Man. Star of comic books, comic strips, cartoons and movies. Not so much of stage. I was hoping to go to New York this year and see the Spider-Man musical, but now I’m thinking I should stay in Missouri where it’s safer.
The big news for Spider-Man this year, aside from his theatrical woes, is that he just joined the Fantastic Four. You may recall Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, “died” recently, so Spidey is taking his place. Spidey is also doing double duty with the Avengers and the New Avengers. He’s a busy arachnid.
Here’s another character I never thought I’d see get her own month. Nor was I hoping she would. I can’t believe I’m going to have to spend the month of my birth looking at this image. Maybe I’ll dig up last year’s calendar and hang it back up for 30 days.
Here’s the Goblin Queen’s story, as I lived through it: Scott Summers and Jean Grey were the power couple of the X-Men. Jean died. Scott grieved for a bit, then met Madeline Pryor, who looked exactly like Jean. Scott and Madeline get married. They have a baby. Jean returns from the dead. Scott abandons his wife and child to be with his childhood sweetheart.
At some point someone at Marvel realizes that they just turned Cyclops, the leader and central character of the X-Men, into an adulterer and deadbeat dad. This would not do. But they can’t break up Scott and Jean. They’re the Superman/Lois Lane of the X-Men.
So, in a move that helps explain why there is no Nobel Prize for comic book literature, it was revealed that Madeline was actually a clone of Jean created by the evil Mr. Sinister (actual name). She goes crazy and becomes the evil Goblin Queen. Madeline dies, freeing up Scott to be with Jean and raise his son.
Madeline eventually returned from the dead in some peripheral X-Book that I don’t read so I don’t know what her current status is. Oh, she did reappear in a recent story in “Uncanny X-Men,” but I’m pretty sure they didn’t explain where she came from or how she’s alive. Sadly, that kind of attention to detail is par for the course at Marvel these days.