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.
Laura Kinney AKA X-23, the female clone of the original Wolverine has now stepped up into the role of her “father” after his death last year. The original Wolverine remains dead but a time-displaced alternate future version of him from the Old Man Logan timeline has found his way to the modern Marvel universe and is serving as one of the All-New X-Men.
Devil Dinosaur has come forward in time through a portal chasing adversaries who have mortally wounded his pal, Moon Boy. In the modern Marvel universe he has befriended Lunella Lafeyette, an absurdly smart little girl who has discovered that she has an inhuman gene and is working to reverse it.
Kate Bishop was a member of the Young Avengers, a rich girl who trained herself in various forms of combat after she was assaulted. She became Hawkeye through a story too long to recount here and joined Clint Barton in the last volume of Hawkeye. She and Clint now share equal roles as the leads of All-New Hawkeye, both using the title as their alias.
Miguel O’Hara is from the year 2099 and is that time period’s Spider-Man. After the events of Spider-Verse Miguel found that returning to his time took him to an entirely different world ruled over by The Maestro. So he returned to modern times and is working for Peter Parker at his corporation, occasionally fighting crime on the side as another version of Spider-Man. He has also been joined by Captain America 2099, a woman named Roberta Mendez who does not even know she is a superhero, she is put into a trance that injects super soldier serum into her blood and gives her an entirely new personality.
The Venom symbiote, formerly worn by Eddie Brock and The Scorpion, Mac Gargan, is now being worn by Peter Parker’s high-school bully turned friend Flash Thompson. Flash lost his legs below the knees in combat in the middle east and was offered a chance to fight again using the Venom symbiote, tightly controlled by the US military. He eventually ended up under the care of the Avengers and was later sent out to space as part of an Avengers outreach program where a member of Earth’s heroes would serve with the Guardians of the Galaxy to monitor threats to Earth. Whilst in space the symbiote took control and steered the Guardians’ ship to a far off planet where it revealed that it was a Klyntor, a sort of living armor that drafts people as protectors of the universe. The reason the symbiote had acted in such an erratic and violent way was because it had been corrupted by past hosts (primarily Deadpool, as was revealed in a recent Secret Wars tie-in) but that it had come home and reentered itself. Flash is still serving with the Guardians, but in his spare time is patrolling the universe looking for beings and planets in need of his help. Mac Gargan is once again The Scorpion and Eddie Brock is wearing the Toxin symbiote and hunting down Carnage with the help of John Jameson.
Amadeus Cho is a teenage boy who also happens to be one of the most intelligent people on the planet. Introduced in issue number fifteen of the relaunched Amazing Fantasy, Amadeus palled around with Hercules before the demigod was killed and just sort of popped up here and there around the Marvel Universe. Recently he has obtrained the ability to become a Hulk after the original Hulk, Bruce Banner, absorbed an incredible amount of radiation which would have caused him to melt down and kill various people had Amadeus not leeched the ability to turn into a Hulk out of his blood using nanites. Now he and his sister Maddy Cho go around the world finding Hulk-level threats to tackle. Amadeus’ Hulk also is not driven by rage, he keeps all his mental faculties, only becoming more immature and reckless. The Red Hulk (Thunderbolt Ross), Red She-Hulk (Betty Ross), Skaar the Son of Hulk, and the second Abomination “A-Bomb” (Rick Jones) all had the gamma radiation removed from their blood and can no longer go through the change. She-Hulk Jennifer Walters remains unchanged, second She-Hulk Lyra has been sent to another universe, and Doc Leonard Samson is dead.
In a recent issue of Ant-Man, Scott Lang and original Ant-Man Hank Pym fought one of Pym’s old super villains with the help of a random super-smart IT guy named Raz Malhotra. After Pym’s recent death, Scott decided to give the Giant Man suit to Malhotra so that he could take on Pym’s mantle. Meanwhile Scott is busy in Miami working as a manager of a private security firm with semi-reformed super villains Grizzly and Machinesmith. He is estranged from his daughter Cassie who is no longer a superhero.
To be continued tomorrow…