Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, David Baldacci is an American novelist. He practiced law for a few years before publishing his first book, Absolute Power in 1996.
Since then, David Baldacci has published more than 30 novels for adults but also some seven novels for younger readers. He is mostly know for the Will Robie series, the Amos Decker series, the Sean King and Michelle Maxwell series or The Finisher (Vega Jane) series… and a lot more.
There is a new Netflix series about The Punisher. It’s a good time to talk about the comic books and where to start reading them.
Who is The Punisher?
Created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita Sr. and Ross Andru, The Punisher made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #129. His real name is Frank Castle and he is an extremely violent vigilante who’s not afraid to kill, kidnap, and torture.
For Castle, everything began after his family was killed by the mob. This US Marine Special Forces veteran went on a vengeful quest and never stopped.
Barry Allen is so fast, he will be on the small and the big screen at the same time this year. He also is in the pages of his own comics. If you want to read some of his adventures on paper, here is a little guide to help start.
Who is Barry Allen?
Barry Allen is the most famous Flash, thanks to his various incarnations on the screen, but he is not the first one. He is actually a reinvention of the character that had appeared in 1940s comic books.
Created by writer Robert Kanigher and penciler Carmine Infantino, Barry first appeared in Showcase #4 (October 1956). Everything begins one evening at the Central City Police Lab where Barry is alone and working late. A lightning bolt shatters a case full of chemicals and spills all over Barry. Our police scientist survives this accident, but discovers his whole being and molecular structure has been accelerated. He is now able run at super-speed, vibrates through walls and more (like time travel).
Along with Barry introduction, a whole new Rogues Gallery was created with The Mirror Master, Mr. Element, The Top, Captain Cold, Hat Wave, Captain Boomerang, The Trickster, the Pied Piper, Super Gorilla Grodd, and Professor Zoom – The Reverse Fash.
As you probably have heard by now, there will be a Captain Marvel movie from Marvel Studios in the near future. For one second when I heard the news about this movie, I thought of Mar-Vell, but turns out that they will go with Miss Marvel herself, Carol Danvers. Why not Monica Rambeau or Phyla-Vell if they wanted a female Cap Marv? Who knows? I’ll come back for a more detailed article about Carol Danvers soon, but I thought it would be a good idea to write about all the previous Captains before.
Who is Captain Marvel?
As I was saying, the first Captain Marvel was Mar-vell, but more people took up the mantle after him – And I’m not talking about the one from DC Comics of course.
At the beginning, the first Captain Marvel was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan in Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (published in December 1967). Captain Mar-Vell of the Kree Imperial Militia was sent to observe Earth and eventually became a friend, and the Kree Empire branded him a traitor.
After him, more people became Captain Marvel. For some, there was not a real connection with the original. Some were from his family. Let see where to start with each one of them.
Unlike a character like Spider-Man, Marvel’s Black Panther doesn’t have a great track record. There are good stories, but there are more bad or just forgettable ones. And a lot has not been collected yet. But let’s try anyway to explore the character.
Who is Black Panther?
First things first, Black Panther probably needs an introduction. He already appeared in the MCU and will have his own movie soon. For now, let’s go back to 1966 when he made his first appearance in Fantastic Four #52. Created by Stan Lee and the great Jack Kirby, Black Panther is known to be the first black superhero in mainstream comic books.
The Black Panther is a title that is given to the chief of the Panther Tribe of the advanced African nation of Wakanda. He’s more than a symbol or a superhero, he is head of state.
Under the mask, we find T’Challa who earned the title of the Black Panther by defeating the various champions of the Wakandan tribes. After that, he led his country in a fruitful direction, amassing money and power.
T’Challa was once a member of the Avengers, but also Daredevil. But those are long stories to tell.
There are a lot of characters in the DC Universe (in the Marvel one too) and it’s not always easy to track them down when they are not the star of their own ongoing series. I just got reminded of that when I started to find some good reads with Zatanna. She appeared in a lot of stories over the years, but rarely as the star of the show. So I made a list of the stories what to read with her. But first…
Who is Zatanna?
Created by Julius Schwartz, Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson, Zatanna first appeared in Hawkman #4 (published in November 1964).
Zatanna is known to be a stage illusionist as well as an actual magician, like her father Giovanni Zatara. She’s controlling her powers by speaking the words of her incantations spelled backwards.
Writing reading guides for some minor characters, I realized how unhelpful this kind of approach will be for major ones. It’s especially the case with Spider-Man my favorite Marvel Superhero. I think I’ll come back to write about specific storylines, but to start, I think it’s better to go with a guide to the best entry points in Peter Parker’s long and eventful life.
Who is Spider-man?
Well, I don’t know who can ask something like that, but if you lived in a cave during the last half-century, Spider-Man is a superhero in the Marvel Universe.
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spidey first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 published in August 1962. His secret identity is Peter Parker and, when everything began, he was a high school student raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben in New York City.
When Peter was bitten by a radioactive spider at a science exhibit, he acquired arachnid-like capabilities – a great agility, proportionate strength and even a sixth sense to detect danger. First, he used his powers to gain money, but he had to learn the hard way that with great power comes great responsibility when his uncle is killed by a man he didn’t stop when he had the chance.
After that, Spidey began to fight crime while helping his aunt with a job at the Daily Bugle.
In order to expand the scope of the blog, I thought the I could start to cover author and not only book series. So here we go, let’s start with Kurt Vonnegut. But first…
Who is Kurt Vonnegut?
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer who published his first novel in 1952, a few years after the war during which he was captured by the Germans. He soon became for his anti-war stance that transpired in some of his most famous work, as well as his dark humor and his sometimes unconventional exploitation of science-fiction tropes.
Vonnegut is known today as one of the most important and influential writers of the 20th century.