Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 22:33
By Byron Brewer
(Editorâ€™s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Contributing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewerâ€™s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
Some love Quasar, others worship Nova (you know who you are, guys). But for this aging-gracefully fanboy, there are few to compare with … the Stranger!
Originally from a Lee/Kirby X-Men
title, I first discovered this powerful cosmic entity in the pages of one of my favorite titles at the time, The Mighty Thor Vol. 1, #178
. It was obvious from this first encounter that this being was powerful on a Galactus/Watcher level, yet his arrogance and downright … well, human
behavior quickly made him a favorite. In other words, he was neither aloof nor “beyond good and evil.”
This cat was a playah!
Although there was a little interaction, my major complaint with my first encounter with the Stranger was that he had little to do with the story’s action. While he acts freely and sometimes rashly, in Thor
he basically observed a battle between the Thunder God and his servant at the time, the green-scaled Abomination. If memory serves, we never got a chance to see Thor push Mjolnir or himself to the limit against this space-born scientist and surveyor; what a fine tale that would have been – and would still be!
My next encounter with the Stranger, in the pages of Quasar
as penned by the late (still cannot believe that), great Mark Gruenwald, was much more satisfying from a cosmic perspective. In this tale, the ancient race of Watchers approaches the Stranger for assistance in halting a lethal information virus. Our boy Wendell Vaughn takes advantage of this distraction to free many of the specimens on the Stranger’s bizarre Labworld. If you ever saw the original tale from Fantastic Four
in which the Watcher guides Johnny Storm to the stupefying World Ship of Galactus to fetch the Ultimate Nullifier, this liberation of “specimens” from the Stranger’s Labworld is just as awesome.
Among the freed specimens in Quasar
– this was so cool! – were (and forgive me if I do not mention your fave, but I no longer have that issue and am going from memory alone): Alpha the Ultimate Mutant, Threkker, the Creature from Kosmos, Diamondhead, Dragonfly, Ego-Prime, Gorr the Golden Gorilla, Jakar (a being who loves imitating the Stranger and another personal favorite), Krakoa, the Presence and Starlight, Sky-Walker, Stardust, Woodgod and I am sure I missed a dozen or more. It was a virtual “Who’s Who” of entities who had blasted off into space at the end of a Silver Age cosmic arc or were a dangling plot thread somewhere. I would like to see that spread again. Awesome!
I have petitioned scribes Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning several times to resurrect this heroic villain (or villainous hero?) somewhere among their cosmic refugees. Perhaps after Thanos and the Magus have decided whether life or death shall prevail in the Marvel Cosmos (not to mention the Fault’s Many-Angled Ones), the Stranger will ride again somewhere.
Whatever his role, you know he will not be standing in a corner. This cosmic man of science will be in the thick of the action!
Perhaps the Stranger is Eternity’s true
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