Super Types

September 17, 2011

Ye Olde School Café: The Life of Captain Marvel #1

Hello and welcome back to another week in Ye Olde School Café! This week, I’ll be featuring a story about one of my favorite characters, Drax the Destroyer! Back in Iron Man #55 (1968), the brilliant team of Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich gave us a tale that involved Drax, Iron Man, the Blood Brothers, and the one and only Thanos! The version I actually own is The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (1985). Back in the mid-eighties, Marvel decided to reprint a few of the more classic Mar-Vell story lines in a five issue limited series. It was later collected in a trade paperback, as well. Enough banter, let’s get to this interstellar gem right now!

Our story begins with Drax chained up and trying to telepathically send out a warning to Iron Man (the intelligent computer ISSAC told him to contact one of Earth’s mightiest heroes). A message that comes a tad bit too late, as we rewind to see the Blood Brothers beating the crap out of old shellhead in the not so distant past. Fast forward back to Drax, as he is taunted by his nemesis Thanos! Thanos tells Drax that he allowed the contact to be made because he believes Drax will fail and be humiliated. Drax can’t believe it, so he recollects his past few hours. He remembers contacting Tony Stark, and the subsequent flooding of information into his brain. Stark sees the moon of Titan and its relative tranquility. One day, though, Thanos, son of Mentor, goes against his father’s teachings, and creates weapons. Something never before seen on the peaceful moon. For that, Mentor banishes Thanos from his home world. Thanos then creates an army and attacks his home world years later. Mentor asks the planetary deity, Kronos (Chronos), for help. The god-like being then creates Drax, with one sole purpose – to kill Thanos. Stark then sees a confrontation between these two juggernauts, with Thanos coming out victorious. Then we arrive at the point of Iron Man taking a beating from the Blood Brothers again.

As an unconscious Iron Man is dragged into the lair of Thanos, he wakes up and surprises the Blood Brothers with a blast from his repulsors. Just as it seems that he might get the upper hand, he gets blasted to the ground by Thanos himself. As he tries to lift a hand to fight back, Thanos crushes his hand with a stomp. As Thanos is gloating over Iron Man’s beating, Drax suddenly gets a telepathic message from ISSAC that Mentor is about to take action. Using Iron Man and his armor as a beacon, Mentor uses a device that sends a laser beam through Iron Man’s uni-beam (chest plate) to free Drax. Then we witness the mother of all tag-team matches. Drax and Iron Man in one corner, and the Blood Brothers in the other. Punches, kicks, energy blasts, you name it, you see it as these super-sized warriors fight for their lives. Eventually, Iron Man and Drax put down the Brothers and turn towards Thanos. Thanos threatens to throw a switch that will destroy the entire fortress. Drax calls his bluff, but Iron Man is convinced he’ll do it. Drax quickly blasts the controls to stop Thanos, and then the two heroes take the fight to their tormentor. They soon find out, though, that they are beating on a robot duplicate of the villain. Whether or not it was a robot the whole time, is never revealed.

After the adventure is over, the two heroes exchange some kind words and then agree to be there for each other in the future to help out in a jam. And thus ends the adventure of Drax and Iron Man! This book was very significant, especially for the cosmic universe characters. It was the first appearance of Chronos, Mentor, the Blood Brothers, and Drax (cameo by Starfox, A.K.A. Eros, as well)! I’ll be MIA next week, but don’t worry, my friend and DC aficionado, Andrew Hurst, will be bringing you a great story in my absence!

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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