Quintessential Comics: Dive into Obscurity II

Hey there, comic fans! While we’re on a bit of a hot streak, why don’t we go ahead and do our first ever part two for an entry? For this segment, we’re going to go over five more “obscure” characters/teams that you might find interesting. I use quotation marks because, of course, there’s going to be someone out there who’s a graphic novel expert and thinks these entries are common knowledge. Well, good for them! For the rest of you, however, I hope these give you some new reading material. As always, some mature content might be involved. Let’s go!

Black Bolt

Black Bolt book coverTo start things off, we have the king of the Inhumans himself! Blackagar Boltagon (yes, that’s his real name) possesses immense sonic powers that manifest when he speaks. His voice is so destructive that he spends most of his life in silence, as raising his voice could literally shatter mountains. With his queen Medusa at his side, he governs the Inhumans from their citadel on the dark side of the moon. As if Black Bolt doesn’t already have enough to contend with not being able to speak and running a kingdom and all, his brother is also insane and constantly trying to usurp the throne. I guess that’s why they call him Maximus the Mad. We have a few great issues featuring Black Bolt in his own series here at the library! Black Bolt has been imprisoned! By whom, and for what purpose is a mystery you’ll have to find out when reading. Mr. Boltagon is also a prominent character in the Inhumans and Inhumanity graphic novels! If all of this isn’t enough to get you interested, then maybe the fact that Black Bolt rocks a fork on his forehead as part of his costume will. Well, tuning fork.

Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark book cover

Okay, so this entry mainly serves to inform readers of the excellence that is Detective Chimp. An important member of the current lineup of the Justice League Dark, who are led by Wonder Woman, Detective Chimp is exactly what you think: a chimp that is a detective. This Sherlockian great ape sports the classic deerstalker hat and magnifying glass every renowned detective must. He also struggles with the vices of tobacco and alcohol. So, you know, pretty typical stuff for a highly intelligent chimp with a penchant for the art of deduction. You might be wondering how Detective Chimp became the case-cracking savant that he is. Well, he was exposed to the Fountain of Youth, of course. Originally a typical chimpanzee trained to perform in a circus act, Mr. Chimp gained his abilities after drinking from the Fountain. After the passing of his former owner, the great detective embarked on a journey to solve the mysteries of the DC Universe. His curiosity has often led him to work alongside other detectives, such as John Jones (Martian Manhunter), Ralph Dibny (Elongated Man), and Batman himself! Check out the links to get your sleuth on!


Runaways book coverWhat would you do if you found out that your parents were supervillains? Well, you’d probably band together with others like yourself and form your own superhero group, right? Well, that’s exactly who the Runaways are. The children of the villainous group known as The Pride, the Runaways are each on a journey of self-discovery in order to figure out how to contend with the fact that their parents aren’t who they thought they were. Boasting a rather eclectic roster, the Runaways are led by Gertrude “Gert” Yorkes who just so happens to possess a telepathic link with an intelligent raptor from the future! The team has also featured a witch, the android son of Ultron, a Skrull prince, a pint-sized powerhouse, and a genetically-altered cat. I’m sure you can guess by their name, but this team is frequently on the move and dealing with various threats, as well as having memorable run-ins with other notable characters. Something that I think makes this series special is that the Runaways are often contending with everyday problems that each of us face and are less concerned with typical heroics. If you’re looking for a modern take on relatable characters, be sure to check out the recent run of this series at the library!

Resurrection Man

Resurrection Man book cover

Have you ever had those debates with your friends about which superpower is the best? No? Just me? Well, I’m sure that even if you did you probably weren’t thinking that dying over and over only to be resurrected in an endless cycle of chaos was the answer. Well, that happens to be reality for poor Mitch Shelley, the Resurrection Man. Owing his odd ability to a “tektite infusion,” an injection of microscopic technology, Shelley is able to come back to life moments after being killed. On top of that, he comes back with a different power each time! Seems pretty sweet, right? Well, unfortunately, the procedure also caused him to lose his memory for a time and is highly unpredictable. He has no way of knowing what power he’ll come back with. Not to mention, he has to die every time. So, some highs, some lows. Ole’ Mitch is a bit of a loner, but has traded blows with notable threats such as Amazo, the android. Taking on threats like these has brought him to the attention of big timers like the Justice League. He even goes on the join the Justice Legion in a possible future where he has developed a device to give him more control over his powers. All in the 853rd century!


Azrael book coverOkay, we’re giving the lion’s share to DC today, with Azrael, the avenging angel rounding out our list. Jean Paul Valley was your ordinary programming student at Gotham University until one night his father fell bleeding at his feet in a vigilante costume. Jean learns that he is actually part of an ancient order known as the Order of St. Dumas, and his legacy is to don the same costume that his father and those before him have worn to take up arms against the Order’s enemies. It also turns out that Jean had undergone rigorous training that had been hidden in his subconscious and had his genetic makeup spliced with animals in order to give him enhanced abilities. After taking on the mantle of Azrael, Jean had run-ins with the Dark Knight himself and eventually left the Order to train under Batman as his ally. Batman even handed his cowl over to Jean after Bane broke his back and he needed someone to fill in for him. Unfortunately, this alliance was fated to fall apart, as Jean became drunk with power and ended up at odds with the Caped Crusader once again. If you are a fan of the Batman family and haven’t heard of Azrael, check this out!

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