Fang

A drug made from the hemoglobin of vampires, Fang is dangerous and (thankfully) rare. Created by a 2000 year old vampire named Negus (who apparently once defeated Dracula in hand to hand combat), it was brought to New York City by him. Here, he abducted homeless people, dosed them with the drug and forced them to battle each other in cage match fights, until Spider-Man and Blade intervened.

The effects of Fang are temporary, but massive while they last. They effectively give the human user the physical traits of a vampire – fangs, super strength, really bad skin – for a few hours, plus a berserker rage that lasts for roughly three days even after the other effects wear off. Intense doses of UV light can make the effects wear off sooner, and there appears to be little lasting damage to the minds or bodies of the users afterwards (other than whatever injuries they may receive in the cage fights).

The Centre Cannot Hold presents:

The first section of the new and revised Trade Paperback Timelines listings.

If you remember my announcement from just under a month ago, I promised a raft of new features for the timelines.

This is the first installment of those. There’s now a Frequently Asked Questions section, and a new Non-Comic Timeline covering the life of Elric of Melniboné, but those are lesser things.

The real changes are taking place in the Marvel Timelines section, especially the Earth-616 timeline (i.e. the main Marvel Universe). What used to be page 1 of that timeline has now been split up into 6 separate sections to make it easier to zero in on the bit you’re actually interested in – and every last page of the six has new books added to it. There’s about three times as many books listed in these six pages as there was in the one older page, with a few surprises (I hope) thrown in too. (They also, not coincidentally, leave plenty of room for expansion as new releases take place.)

The six new pages are, in chronological order:

I hope you’ll enjoy them – it’s been a labour of love putting this together, and there’s so much more yet to come. Although I think I’ve earned a little break before I five into the next secton.

An announcement for fans of my Marvel Timelines

I’m very gratified by the popularity of this feature – it’s far and away the most popular thing on this whole site – and I’m always trying to come up with ways to improve it. In fact, for the last little while, I’ve been working on a massive revision and expansion of it. The new version of the timeline will have the following features:

  • More detail in each entry – information about what issues are reprinted in it for every volume, and more details if they’re warranted.
  • More and smaller pages, for quicker load times.
  • Titles explaining what period the page covers, rather than just the numerical titles.
  • A few more subsidiary timelines spinning out of the main Marvel timeline.
  • More subheadings on pages to make it easier to locate major events.
  • A more detailed listing of what’s on each page, again in order to make it easier to locate major events.
  • A Frequently Asked Questions section to cover some of the more general information about my assumptions and rules of thumb for the Timelines that doesn’t belong on those pages themselves.
  • …and more besides.

So I hope you’ll bear with me, ‘cos it will take a little while longer yet, before I have everything sorted out to my satisfaction, but I promise, it will be worth it when I’m done.

I’m working from start to finish on the timeline, so you’ll probably still see the occasional addition to the later pages in the chronology for a little while, but as I complete each page, I’ll be adding updates only to the newer pages until I’m ready to bring in all the revised versions at once.

The Marvel Movieverse and the Asimoviverse

A more disparate pairing could hardly be imagined, and yet, they’re not so far apart. The key point of connection between the two is the importance of Artificial Intelligence in both settings.

Asimov’s Robots are, of course, iconic. And Tony Stark’s house/computer/suit/etc Jarvis (Just Another Really Very Intelligent System) is named in a way that only serves to emphasises how taken for granted this artificial intelligence is by Stark and his employees.
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Mutant Growth Hormone

Originally a powerful, non-addictive mutagen devised by X-Man Hank McCoy (a.k.a. The Beast), Mutant Growth Hormone has since been debased into a less potent but more addictive form, and shown up on the streets of New York City, usually abbreviated to MGH.

MGH is created from the DNA of a mutant (or mutate), and grants the user with limited superpowers for a brief period. Although most sellers of the drug claim that the powers granted are related to the person who the MGH was harvested from, this is in fact untrue, and the powers granted arise from the activation of latent mutant genes in the user.

Known DNA sources for MGH include Hank McCoy (who made the original formulation from his own DNA and took it himself, which may account for both the potency and permanency of the effects), Leland Owlsley (the criminal known as The Owl) and Mattie Franklin (the third Spider-Woman). No verified sample has ever been created from the DNA of Peter Parker (Spider-Man) although dealers frequently claim him as a source of the drug.

Related drugs: Kick.

Hades (Marvel)

In the Marvel Universe, there are any number of afterlives, but they are all, ultimately, the same afterlife. What you find there depends to some extent on what you expect to find there, and to some extent on who there holds power.

When Hercules visits this afterlife, he sees it as Hades, albeit an unusually modern Hades full of dead people he knows, all gambling in a casino where the ultimate prize is resurrection. Unusually, it also includes dead gods as well as dead mortals.

So long as you don’t piss off Hades, this isn’t a bad afterlife to wind up in – it’s relatively earth-like and un-sadistic, and there’s a very good chance of escaping it (if the rate of resurrections in Marvel Comics is anything to go by).


Where the Skrulls went wrong

I read – and, I confess, immensely enjoyed – Secret Invasion a few months back. So if you haven’t read it, or you’re just not a serious comics geek like I am, I advise you not to read the rest of this post.

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