Marvel Toys, the company formerly known as Toy Biz, brings us a new line of 6" highly-detailed and highly-articulated action figures called Legendary Comic Book Heroes
. Now these aren't your Marvel Superheroes, these are characters spawned by independent comic book companies and creators. Some characters are well known while others are not. So to help bring everyone up to speed on who is who in this line, below you will find a brief summary about each character that is being released in the first two assortments.
Series 1: Pitt Series
Madman (aka Frank Einstein) is not your average hero. Named after Frank Sinatra and Albert Einstein, his name is also a pun on Frankenstein.
Frank was a hitman who was killed in a car accident, then stiched back together and brought to life by a pair of mad scientists, Dr. Egon Boiffard and Dr. Gillespie Flem. This resurrection leaves Frank with supernatural reflexes and a slight degree of precognitive and empathic power. Frank doesn't remember anything about his former life. Frank has only faint, troubling memories relating to his death. Madman's costume is based on the only thing he remembered from his past: a fascination with a comic book character called Mr. Excitement.
Frank Einstein now lives as a jack-of-all-trades wanderer, accompanied by a variety of allies. Only one of Frank's reanimators; Dr. Flem, is still around. Dr. Boiffard, in attempt to boost his brain power, transmuted his entire head into neural tissue, thus leaving him an invalid in a hospital. Despite the fact Frank has blue skin criss-crossed with Frankenstein-like scars, he has a steady girlfriend, a secretary by the name of Joe. Madman's other allies include Mott, an alien from the planet Hoople who was saved by Frank when the crazy alien, Zenelle, wanted to marry and eat Mott. Gale, an invisible female scientist who was tattooed by mutant clones and while attempting to remove the tattoos, became invisible. Astroman and Machina, a pair of robotic humanoids. Astroman was built to be an aid to Frank and was loaded with some of Frank's lost information. Astroman grew to love Frank's girlfriend, Joe, which made Machina very jealous. And finally, Marie and Warren, two artificial intelligences from the future.
Madman has also encountered Superman and Lois Lane once, due to a plot by the mischievous Mister Mxyzptlk where the two switched dimensions, becoming physical hybrids of each other, and then had to retrieve portions of Superman's powers, which had been doled out amongst various people across both worlds, including a spoiled little girl and the owner of a healthy fast food store. Finally, the two confronted Mister Mxyzptlk, with Madman defeating him in a game of Twister before tricking him into saying his name backwards.
First appearance Creatures of the Id, 1990
Created by Mike Allred
Not much is known concerning Ripclaw's past. Many people believe that he is with the Apache tribe. Although it is true that he spent much of his youth with the Apache, it is also true that he spent just as much, if not more time, with the Cheyenne. He has also lived among the Navajo and the Lakota Sioux. He is in fact descended from a primitive woodland tribe that lived thousands of years ago in what is now the Northeastern United States. He left home after he began to develop his mutation, and injured a fellow student during a martial arts training session. Ripclaw questioned his father over his hands, and his father became evasive, and became enraged when Ripclaw pressed on with his questions, asking his father about why his skin was much paler than that of other students. He left home, seeking answers, and ended up on an American Indian reservation, where he stumbled into a fight and was knocked unconscious. He was found by a powerful shaman, who taught him about his ancestors. They went through a ceremony where Ripclaw experienced a joining and conversing with the spirits of his ancestors and the spirits of the land, who told him that he was Robert Bearclaw, and not Robert Berresford, as his father had always told him. The spirits told him that he was to be their warrior and that he was to lead the Indian People back to the greatness of spirit that they once had. When he finished the ceremony, involving tribal flesh hooks and war paint, the shaman marked him with his blood, and this became the red markings over his skin, reminding him always of the pain and truth of the ceremony that he had been through. He was raised primarily by the shaman after that, who taught him how to use his special talents. This was explained early in the Cyberforce Vol 1 comic series, when Ripclaw's healing factor began to reject the cybernetic implants, and he was put under a heavy anaesthetic, and remembered his early teenage years.
Again, he has a murky past, but one thing that is known is that he spent a lot of time at Cyberdata as a S.H.O.C. He ended up at Cyberdata after he attacked the son of a local sherrif who had raped a young Indian girl. Ripclaw was shot, and ended up at the sherrif's jail, waiting to be delivered to the courts, only there was someone at the bar who witnessed Ripclaw's mutations, and contacted Cyberdata. They then removed his hands and replaced them with cybernetic replacements. Robert was also romantically linked with Misery before she betrayed his team and he joined Cyberforce.
Ripclaw is definitely the strong, silent type, the quintessential loner, not very sociable, no fun at parties, but definitely the guy to take if you are going on a hike through the woods. He's highly intelligent, introspective, very well-read, and eminently knowledgeable especially with regard to past and present Native-American cultures. He has a strong sense of right and wrong and embodies all the classic virtues of honor, sincerity, respect and compassion. The other members of Cyberforce often look up to him for moral guidance and emotional support.
Publisher Top Cow Productions
First appearance Cyberforce #1 (1992)
Created by Marc Silvestri
The Savage Dragon, often called simply “the Dragon,” is an Image Comics superhero. Created by Erik Larsen, he first appeared in The Savage Dragon #1 (July 1992).
The Dragon is a large, super-strong, finned, green-skinned humanoid. He is an amnesiac; his earliest memory is awakening in a burning field in Chicago. Thus, for most of the series, his powers and appearance were a mystery to readers. At the beginning of the series, he became a police officer and battled the mutant criminal "superfreaks"—principally the Vicious Circle—that were terrorizing Chicago.
Along with Spawn, The Savage Dragon is one of two original Image titles still published and the only one still written and drawn by its creator. It is the longest tenure of a writer/artist on a single comic book series in the history of American comic books. Stan Sakai has done more issues of his book "Usagi Yojimbo" than Larsen has of Savage Dragon but they were for numerous publishers and each run has started fresh with a new first issue. Dave Sim did three hundred issues of Cerebus but he's not an American cartoonist (he's Canadian). Larsen's run is consecutive and intact.
The character was also adapted into a short-lived (26 total episodes) USA network animated series during the 1994 and 1995 seasons.
Publisher Image Comics
First appearance The Savage Dragon #1 (July 1992)
Created by Erik Larsen
Joe Dredd, one of a number of clones of Chief Judge Fargo, is the most famous of the elite corps of Judges that run Mega-City One with the power not only to enforce the law, but also to instantly sentence offenders -- and (if necessary) execute them. Dredd has a large, computer-driven "Lawmaster" motorbike, which mounts powerful cannons, and has full artificial intelligence, and is capable of responding to orders from the Judge and driving itself. It is also connected to the Justice Department who can receive and transmit information from and to the bike and is equipped with a video communication system. He also has a "Lawgiver" handgun (DNA-coded to recognize his palm-print alone) that fires six types of bullets; a daystick; a bootknife; and, a uniform with a helmet that obscures all of his face except his mouth and jaw. His entire face is never shown in the strip (however, see The Dead Man below). In an early story written by Mills Dredd is forced to remove his helmet and the other characters react as if he is disfigured but the artwork by Massimo Bellardinelli was not satisfactory and Dredd's face was covered by a faux censorship sticker. A frequently used phrase in the series is "I am the Law." Some see Dredd as a personification of the idea of Law, thus his face cannot be shown because as The Law he transcends any particular form. This is not to say, however, that he is totally inhuman. Throughout the strip he displays emotions (mostly anger) and irony: Another common Dredd quote is "Democracy is not for the people", a short sentence containing the Judge's very human opinion of other humans -- that they need to be very strictly controlled. However it should be noted that Dredd supported a referendum on the reintroduction of democracy in the story America. Ironically, when such a referendum was eventually held, the result came out strongly in favour of the status quo - rule by the judges.
Publisher IPC Media (Fleetway) to 1999, thereafter Rebellion Developments
First appearance 2000 AD #2 (1977)
Created by John Wagner
Superpatriot was once Johnny Armstrong, a soldier in World War II. Captured by the Germans, Armstrong was used as a guinea pig for scientific experiments and gained superhuman powers. He destroyed the base at which he was being kept so the Nazis could not replicate the process on their troops and donned a American flag-styled costume to become Superpatriot. Superpatriot later joined the superhero group called the Allies, working with such figures as Supreme and Mighty Man, and protected the innocent for many decades.
However, in the 1990s, SuperPatriot was faced with more brutal and intense supervillains than ever before and began to have difficulty dealing with them. Eventually, he was overpowered by members of the Vicious Circle, a group of supervillains organized by Chicago crime-boss Overlord. Superpatriot was savagely attacked by his foes, with the shark-man Mako biting off his limbs and much of his face. Left for dead, Superpatriot's body was taken by Cyberdata, a corporation of subversive scientists, and transformed into a powerful cyborg.
Initially his transformation made him highly unstable and he embarked upon a violent spree of vigilante murders, clashing with the Savage Dragon. Superpatriot was easily controlled while in this addled state and was made into a puppet killing machine by terrorist groups like the Covenant of the Sword. Also, he was temporarily controlled by the entity known as the Horde. Fortunately, the Superpatriot later regained his own mind and became a superhero again, joining the newly-formed Chicago group called Freak Force.
Superpatriot & Claire Bono-Armstrong from Superpatriot: War on Terror #2Sometime after being freed from Cyberdata & the Covenant of the Sword's control John learned that he had fathered two children. The twins (a boy and a girl) grew up to become Liberty & Justice. His ex-wife, who the twins and John thought dead, was revealed to be alive and was a member of the Covenant of the Sword prior to marrying John. His female daughter also thinks the Covenant is not as bad as it is made out to seem.
Superpatriot is well-respected in the superhero community, becoming one of the main resistance leaders during the Mars Attacks The Image Universe crossover.
In the 'Savage World', the alternate Earth depicted in Larsen's Savage Dragon series, Superpatriot was controlled by Cyberface, until his eventual downfall. Afterwards he rejoined the newly reestablished Liberty League, and has had various adventures, including meeting Claire Bono, and eventually marrying her.
Superpatriot is currently still married, to the much younger Claire.
Publisher Image Comics
First appearance The Savage Dragon Mini-Series #1
Created by Erik Larsen
The Witchblade is an intelligent, ancient, and conscious weapon with extra-terrestrial origins and one of thirteen other weapons. It is the offspring of the universe’s opposing aspects, the Darkness and the Angelus (the dark and the light). A male aspect created to act as a balance, which must have a female as a host. The Witchblade was found in Greece by Kenneth Irons, but before he found it, it had had many wielders. When not in use, it can look like an ornate, jewel encrusted, right handed gauntlet. When wielded by an unworthy user, that person will lose their arm. It forms a symbiotic relationship with the host, who can hear the Witchblade. When used, it expands across the body of the wielder, shredding clothes and covering the body like an armour. The armour seems subjective depending on the level of threat. Faced against mortals, it will usually generate less armour than when faced against a demon of hell. This armour can form swords, other stabbing weapons, shields, and wings, enabling the wielder to fly. It may also become temperamental if it chooses not to be used. When wielded, it can shoot energy blasts from the hand or sword, fire projectile darts, and whip-like grapples to attack or to climb. The Witchblade is also an excellent lock pick, and can heal wounds, even mortal ones. The Witchblade can re-animate the dead, can empathetically show the wielder scenes of great trauma, and also relive experiences from wielders of the past in dream like experiences.
Witchblade is a comic book series published by Top Cow Productions, an imprint of Image Comics, from 1995 until present. The series was created by Top Cow editors Marc Silvestri and David Wohl, writer Brian Haberlin, and artist Michael Turner.
Pitt w/Little *Timmy Bracken - (Build-A-Figure)
In 1981, Allen and Annie Bracken, while on their way from the hospital, were taken by a Creed spaceship where their emperor Zoyvod took one of the fertilized eggs from Annie and returned them to Earth. While the Brackens were on Earth with what would become Pitt's brother Timmy, Zoyvod recombined his genetic structure with the fertilized egg that would become Pitt.
In the Creed Imperial stronghold the egg grew in a gestation tank, until the creature unexpectedly awoke and escaped. He was ultimately caught and Wroth, another Creed hybrid (and half-brother to Pitt), assaulted him. Believing him dead, a Creed alien named Quagg was supposed to get rid of the body, but was attacked by Pitt while flying to the corpse dumping grounds. In the fight, Pitt was blasted out through the door of the shuttle .
On the ground Pitt clawed his way out of the dumping ground and lived in the wilds until Zoyvod send a team out to retrieve him. Quagg and his team did manage to retrieve him, but only Quagg survived the mission. Pitt was then trained by Quagg and given his name. For years he worked as Zoyvod's assassin until an attack on the planet Chakra where someone named the Seer melded the consciousness of the child Jereb - an alien with 'immense spiritual power" - with Pitt. The merger apparently changed Pitt, turning him into a fugitive. Eventually he ended up on Earth.
When Pitt arrived on Earth, he materialized in a New York subway near Timmy and saved him and his grandfather from muggers. Immediately after, he disappeared into the city, drifting around while trying to adapt to the new world . On Earth he was followed by the Creed. Timmy, having a genetic structure similar to Pitt, was attacked instead of Pitt, bringing Timmy and Pitt together again. This was also the first time Rai-Kee met Pitt, who had been masquerading as "Bobbie Harras" a New York City Police Officer. During the fight, Jereb left Pitt and entered Timmy, enabling him to defeat Zoyvod.
After the fight Timmy was kidnapped by the Creed. To effect his rescue, Pitt teamed up with Axiom - a New York-based superhero group.. Pitt's half brother Wroth was working with Professor Holdsworth, the leader of Axiom. Holdsworth wanted the power in Timmy, and Wroth wanted Pitt. Their plan was foiled, however. Holdsworth's fate was not revealed but Wroth escaped. He returned later and was defeated by Zoyvod who had taken over Pitt's body for a short while.
Due to the war between the Creed and the Cenobite, Pitt would have been attacked by the Cenobite, had they found him on Earth. The Cenobite Eurial therefore hid him in an alternate dimension known as Shimmerspace until they were gone. There, Pitt met Jereb again. While in Shimmerspace, Jereb could see all time at once: past, present, and future. He told Pitt some of the things that would happen to him. Pitt was only in Shimmerspace very shortly but when he came out, five years had passed on Earth.
While Pitt had been in Shimmerspace, an organization bent on world domination known as the ThinkTank had created Pitt clones - one of which was send to steal some alien artifacts from a military installation. For this, the U.S. Army sent both troops and their best officer Captain Curtis to kill Pitt. They only succeeded in killing Captain Curtis and US soldiers, and Pitt went to the White House where he killed Clinton's double on the lawn. Pitt somehow found out about the ThinkTank being behind it all and went to the Crossbow Technologies building where he killed their leaders, the Guileys.
Pitt was last seen when he defeated the demon Urgral Thul.
Publisher Full Bleed Studios
First appearance Youngblood (vol. 1) #4 (1993)
Created by Dale Keown
*= Timmy will come packaged with Judge Dredd
Series 2: Monkey Man Series
Jackie Estacado is the current day wielder of The Darkness and don of the Franchetti Family mob. He is a very violent and sexual man who, until gaining the powers of The Darkness, lived life in the fast lane. Of course, because of the possibility of impregnating a woman causing his own death through the mysterious ways of the darkness, Jackie tries to refrain from sex, to his great frustration. Though Jackie lives life on the wrong side of the law and can kill without remorse, he has a high set of morals he follows and always tries to protect those he cares about.
Publisher Top Cow Productions
First appearance Witchblade #10 (1996)
Created by David Wohl
Marv is one of the major characters of the Sin City series, and appears or is mentioned in nearly every book. He is the protagonist of the first Sin City "yarn", The Hard Goodbye as well as two shorter yarns, Silent Night and Just Another Saturday Night He has a supporting role in A Dame To Kill For.
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
First appearance The Hard Goodbye
Created by Frank Miller
The full story of his journey from being Sidney D'eath, the son of a sadistic traveling dentist, to his incarnation as a creature of pure evil is recounted in the Judge Dredd Megazine series Young Death - Boyhood of a Super-Fiend and given extra detail by Anderson: Psi Division - Half Life. A young sadist thrilled by inflicting pain, Sidney would soon go on to murder three bullies from his school. He joined the Judges in order to be able to kill people legally, gaining the nickname 'Judge Death' for his hard-line stance on executing all lawbreakers.
The psychotic and obsessive Judge shortly afterwards encountered the witches Phobia and Nausea, who he saw a means to achieve his vision of total justice - the complete extermination of all life. He reasoned that all crime is committed by the living, therefore life itself is a crime. Using their dark magic, he had himself transformed into the unstoppable undead Judge Death and along with the “Sisters of Death” and his fellow Dark Judges, he wiped his world clean of all life.
Once that was done, he left “Deadworld” and crossed dimensions to reach Mega-City One. He and his cohorts struck several times, causing great carnage each time, but they were always defeated by the Judges Dredd and Anderson. Eventually the Sisters of Death, now spectral beings, arrived in MC-1 and along with the Dark Judges, they initiated Necropolis - a horror that took the lives of 60,000,000 people.
Necropolis failed and Judge Death soon ended up as the only Dark Judge left free in this world. Inevitably he too was eventually captured. When he got out, he was able to put Anderson in a coma - beyond that, he infected her with a pestilence spirit so that when she woke up a great plague would be unleashed. Anderson, warning herself via a hallucination of herself around during Death’s rise, purposefully remains in her coma. Death went out into the Cursed Earth, slaughtering as he went and deciding that Weapons of Mass Destruction were the most effective way to achieve his ends. Using a bunker full of nuclear weapons, he destroyed Las Vegas before being reduced to a spirit again, whereupon he was dragged into Hell by the vengeful ghosts of all those he had killed.
Judge Death (by John Wagner and Frazer Irving, collected in Judge Death: My Name is Death, 112 pages, 2005, ISBN 1-904265-73-1):
"My Name is Death" (in 2000 AD #1289-1294, 2002)
"The Wilderness Days" (in Judge Dredd Megazine #209-216, 2003-2004)
Colonel Morgan Striker is a former U.S. Army colonel with extensive combat training and mercenary capabilities. He has three arms on his right hand(s) side. He is a weapons and military expert. Stryker was one of the original SHOC’s that mutinied from under Cyberdata’s control, and formed Cyberforce. From very early in the series, he was paired with Ballistic, aka Cassie Lane, who was quite similar to him in most respects. They both had their arms replaced by cybernetics, with Stryker having all three of his rights arms replaced, and a large portion of his chest as well as his right eye. Both characters were written as very worldly, and both smoke and drink almost constantly. Stryker is similar in appearance to Cable Summers, from the marvel X-Men universe, although only in appearance. Stryker is a highly skilled mercenary, with near perfect hand-eye coordination and aim. He also has extensive knowledge on tactics, weapons and hand to hand combat. His unconventional relationship with Ballistic appears to be quite casual, as neither show much affection for the other, but remain exclusive to one another. He has yet to appear centrally in the newest incarnation of Cyberforce, although in the #5 issue, he is shown at the beginning watching a fireball cross the sky. Unbeknownst to Stryker, the fireball is actually his former teammates inside an alien ship crashing towards the earth.
Stryker has almost perfect aim, and two additional arms on his right side. All three right arms were removed and cybernetically replaced by Cyberdata. He is a former U.S. Army Colonel and an expert mercenary. If left to his own devices, he will walk in right handed circles due to being off balance.
Codename: Strykeforce was a comic book series by Top Cow/Image Comics, about a team of superheroes. It was an offshoot of another series called Cyberforce, which was about a group of cyborg shock troops. The series lasted for fourteen issues. The first nine were by Eric Silvestri and Marc Silvestri. The last five were written by Steve Gerber and illustrated by Billy Tan Mung Khoy, who also handled the two part Cyberforce/Codename: Strykeforce crossover, which ended with Stryker disbanding Codename: Strykeforce.
A member of Freak Force, team of bounty hunters operating out of Chicago, Illinois in the Image Comics series Savage Dragon, all created by Erik Larsen -- many during his adolescence. The team is composed of 'super freaks' (the slang term for super powered humans) that were the support cast of the series. Debuting in Savage Dragon they later had their own 18 issue series, and a mini-series some time later. Dart was featured in one min-series, while Superpatriot had three.
With the exceptions of Superpatriot and Mighty Man, all of the team were part of a failed 'freak force' programme in the Chicago Police Department. The police department were interested in hiring new super-powered police officers, because the Dragon was being loaned out so much. Dart was one of the first, she has been working as a vigilante out of the city of of Detroit. Horridus joined soon after the Dragon rescued her from her parent's basement. Ricochet and Barbaric has encountered the Dragon on a previous mission. However, it was soon revealed Ricochet was too young and she was denied entrance. While sulking, she helped rescue Rapture from a homicidal pimp.
There was a number of initial mistakes. Barbaric almost killed many members of the criminal orginization Vicious Circle during a teleportation escape attempt. Dart badly injured the villain Cesspool, who filed a lawsuit. The brass wanted the crew to wear police uniforms, which would restrict their fighting abillity. This, and other factors, soon lead to the team leaving the police department.
Publisher Image Comics
First appearance Savage Dragon #4 (September 1992)
Created by Erik Larsen
the daughter of a famous scientist working on interdimensional travel. When his experimental machine is accidentally activated it pulls into our world Axewell Tiberius, a 10 foot tall super-intelligent gorilla-like being from a parallel world. (See Monkeyman for more info.)
Monkeyman - (Build-A-Figure)
Monkeyman and O'Brien is a comic book created by Art Adams and published by Dark Horse Comics.
The series follows the story of Ann O'Brien, the daughter of a famous scientist working on interdimensional travel. When his experimental machine is accidentally activated it pulls into our world Axewell Tiberius, a 10 foot tall super-intelligent gorilla-like being from a parallel world. The accident also bathes Ann in radiation that makes her grow to seven feet tall and grants superhuman strength, endurance and speed. Axewell quickly becomes Ann's friend and the two face numerous silver age style threats including The Shrewmanoid, and the Froglodytes
The two have also encountered the super-team Gen-13.
Conan the Barbarian Vs. WRARRL
Conan is a Cimmerian (not to be confused with the historical Cimmerians), a barbarian of the far north. He was born on a battlefield and is the son of a blacksmith. Conan matured quickly as a youth and, by age fifteen, he was already a respected warrior who had participated in the destruction of the Aquilonian outpost of Venarium. After its destruction, he was struck by wanderlust and began the adventures chronicled by Howard, encountering skulking monsters, evil wizards, tavern wenches, and beautiful princesses. He roamed throughout Hyboria as a thief, outlaw, mercenary and pirate. As he grew older, he began commanding larger units of men and escalating his ambitions. In his forties, he seizes the crown of king of Aquilonia, the most powerful kingdom of the Hyborian Age, having strangled the previous ruler on the steps of the throne. Although Conan's adventures often result in him performing heroic feats, his motivation for doing so is typically his own survival or for personal gain; thus, he displays many of the characteristics of an anti-hero.
Wrarrl is an extradimensional demonic entity and magic-user, Pre-Cataclysmic and Hyborian eras. He is also known as the Devourer of Souls and leader of a race of demonic brethren. First appearance was in Savage Sword Of Conan #90 (July 1983). The figure will come with a removable helmet and a bag of worms.
Conan is currently published by Darkhorse Comics.
Body Bags - Clownface & Panda
Set in the fictional city of Terminus, Georgia, Body Bags follows the contract-killing exploits of a Hispanic father & daughter team of 'body baggers' (assassins) Mack Delgado (aka Clownface), a knife wielding veteran of the business, and his overzealous and overly voluptuous teenage daughter Panda. Many of their assignments come from the series' only other recurring character, Sheriff Toni Sinn. Despite the arguing that goes on between teenager Panda and father Mack, Mack is still very protective while constantly fights for her father's respect and permission to set out on jobs with her father and his longtime body-bagging partner, Pops.
The Body Bags story draws similarities to the film The Professional. For example, Panda returns to her father's side after ten years apart, while Mack is looking for a rival Body Bagger who set him up. Albeit Mack was reluctant to allow her, Panda helps him take care of his rival and later becomes a full-fledged Bagger herself.
Their 10-page appearance in Dark Horse Presents ties into the original 4-issue mini-series as the two come under fire from an experimental gun stolen and operated by Geech, a drug dealer whose pregnant wife was critically injured by Mack in the mini-series.
The latest Body Bags installment, entitled The Hard Way, features Panda solely dealing with a corrupt police detective who is really a crime-boss while cleaning out Mack's distinctive hot rod, 'Da Boss'.
Body Bags is a comic book series created, written and illustrated by Jason Pearson.
Character Bios provided by Wikipedia.