Marvel Comics is a prolific company; with hundreds of character and a lot of comics releasing monthly it’s easy to lose track of characters and plotlines. This is a guide of who’s who in the Marvel Universe right now, picking up with all the new first issues following the recent Secret Wars event.
After Inhumanity and several other problems the Inhumans have split into seperate groups. Medusa has taken over as queen with Triton, a paraplegic Gorgon, Fantastic Four member The Human Torch, and Medusa’s sister Crystal. Crystal heads a group who is going around the world finding new Inhumans to bring to New Attilan and maintaining peace between Inhumans and human nations. Other members include Swain (suggestive empathetic powers), Flint (telekinetic control over stone), Grid (control over the electromagnetic spectrum), Naja (Flight, super vision, and invisibility), Inferno (Pyrokinesis), Nur (light projection), and Panacea (healer.)
Meanwhile Black Bolt has set up The Quiet Room, a neutral zone for all of the universe’s various factions to meet under peaceful circumstances. Bolt has the assistance of the blind Reader (capable of doing various miraculous things but only three times between sleep cycles), Iso (control over pressure), and Bolt and Medusa’s son Ahura.
Karnak is running a monastery for Inhumans to unlock their potential and going on missions to help Inhumans for S.H.I.E.L.D. to fund his venture.
Deadpool and The Mercs For Money
Deadpool recently decided to make himself a brand and is using various mercenaries to act as a sort of private army cum superteam called the Mercs for Money. Members include the mercenary/vigilante Foolkiller; living cartoon Slapstick, superspy James “Solo” Bourne, aquatic superhero and former Avenger Stingray, the Mexican version of Deadpool Masacre, and the undead anti-hero who repairs bodily damage by stealing the body parts of those he kills Terror.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
As a way of incorporating characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the 616 Agents of S.H.I.El.D. is a book about the characters from the TV show integrated into the 616 continuity. As in the show it deals with a team of elite agents led by Phil Coulson who in this universe is a man with an encyclopedic knowledge of super-powered individuals. Daisy Johnson A.K.A. Quake and Melinda May are the heavies, and Leopold Fitz and Jemma Simmons are the team’s science officers. Added to the cast are Bobbi Morse A.K.A. Mockingbird, Maria Hill, Deathlok Henry Hayes, and Nick Fury Jr. (the illegitimate son of the original Nick Fury, mostly added so that the 616 would have a Nick Fury who looks more like Samuel L. Jackson.)
Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.
A secret supernatural-focused section of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Howling Commandos are led by Dum Dum Dugan. Having fought with Nick Fury’s original Howling Commandos in World War 2 it has been revealed that Dugan is actually an artificial intelligence with Dugan’s thought patterns that can go to a near limitless number of Life Model-Decoy bodies. Other members include a zombified Jasper Sitwell, the Macaque assassin Hit-Monkey, fish-person Manphibian, Man-Thing, gamma irradiated teenager Teen Abomination, werewolf/vampire hybrid Nina Price, ghost summoner Glyph, the giant alien invader Orrgo, and werewolf Warwolf.
Parker Robbins, The Hood, has set up a secret organization to procure power to essentially control the world. In doing this he has enlisted the help of Titania, Thunderball, The Mad Thinker, Enchantress, and The Black Ant – the Life Model Decoy that killed the third Ant-Man Eric O’Grady and took his place. They are The Illuminati.
The Guardians of the Galaxy
Many of Marvel’s current books are taking place in Weirdworld, a sort of patchwork reality of all Marvel’s various magical realms. Various older characters and new alike appear in books taking place in Weirdworld such as The Black Knight Dane Whitman, the witch Morgan le Fay, the warlord Arkon of Polemachus, Tyndall the Elf (of the original Weirdworld), Crystar of the Crystallium, Thundra of a post-apocalyptic future where men and women are warring factions, the sorceress Jennifer Kale, the Vietnam soldier turned barbarian Skull the Slayer, Ogeode the Catbeast, Goleta the Wizard Slayer, and Rebecca the Earth Girl.