Happy New Year and welcome to a new season of What’s On Ronnie’s Calendars, the 12-part series in which I go over what I’ll be looking at for the next 28-31 days, depending on the month.
The Marvel freebie calendar I picked up at the comic book shop on Wednesday (note to DC: if you’d like some attention in this segment, you might consider following Marvel’s lead here) kicks off the year with the cover from “X-Sanction 2,” a mini-series in which Cable (the cyborg-looking guy on the left) spends 6 months or so beating up on various members of The Avengers (Iron Man in issue 2).
You should know who Iron Man is, but you probably don’t know who Cable is. If you’re not a nerd, you definitely don’t know who Cable is.
Cable is Nathan Summers, the son of Scott Summers (Cyclops of the X-Men) and Madeline Pryor (clone of Jean Grey, who was believed to be dead at the time). If Cable appears to be significantly older than his father, that’s because he’s a time traveler. Comic companies occasionally go through a phase where they think it would be neat for their characters to have babies. But then they quickly realize they don’t know what to do with them, so they have to get rid of them.
In Cable’s case, baby Nathan was taken into the future where he was raised as a cyborg/warrior/soldier. Occasionally he comes to the present to fix something or fight someone. The plot of “X-Sanction” is Cable comes to the present to beat up The Avengers because they threaten his adopted daughter Hope (more on her next month) and the future. At least I think that’s the plot, I’m not actually reading it.
Women of Marvel: A Digression
This may take a while, so have a seat and a cup of coffee. I did not get this year’s Women of Marvel calendar because the person who sends it to me took me seriously when I asked everyone to send money to my son’s school instead of sending me presents. God bless her but curse my altruism (By the way, it’s never too late to make a donation and thank you to everyone who did. http://www.teachautism.org/).
So I was going to go out after Christmas and pick up a calendar at 50 percent off, but none of the calendar stores or kiosks at any of the many malls I visited this week were carrying it.
I know one is out there because I’ve seen it online. Anyway, the 2012 Marvel Calendar girl for January is slutty X-Woman Emma Frost. Sigh. I feel dirty just posting that image, but my hit count does go up when I mention Emma so clearly Marvel knows what it’s doing. But why is she setting fire to a valentine in January? Wouldn’t that be more appropriate for February? Why can’t I get a job running Marvel’s calendar division?
So, I’ve decided that since I don’t have the official Women of Marvel calendar to work from, I will put together my own Women of Marvel calendar for the purposes of this segment, featuring some of the women of Marvel who have been overlooked for 3 years.
The Invisible Woman
What better way to launch the first month of the year than with the first lady of Marvel Comics? Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Susan Storm Richards made her debut in the first issue of “The Fantastic Four,” the comic that launched the Marvel Age.
Susan was the girlfriend of Reed Richards, a brilliant scientist who built a rocket that he and his buddy Ben Grimm were going to launch into space, somehow without anyone in the government knowing. They brought along Sue and her little brother Johnny because, well, I’ve never understood why Reed would take his girlfriend and her brother on a dangerous rocket ride into space. It was the Silver Age. Besides, a comic called “The Fantastic Two” lacks the alliteration that Stan became famous for.
You know the rest. Rocket is bombarded with cosmic rays and the quartet get super powers. Sue was given the ability to become invisible (hence the name). Since invisibility isn’t a very exciting power — especially in a visual medium like comics — Sue was later given the ability to create force fields. I don’t know how invisibility and force fields are related but, hey, Silver Age.
Not only is Sue the first superheroine of Marvel, she’s also first mother. Sue and Reed have two children — Franklin and Valeria — and I don’t have the time or strength to go into their back stories.
Susan has appeared in several FF cartoons and was played by Jessica Alba in two recent Fantastic Four movies. I have no idea why she has never been deemed worthy of her own month in the Women of Marvel calendar series. Probably because she doesn’t show enough skin.