United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, one of the seven American uniformed services. Formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U. S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, it is the youngest branch of the U. S. Armed Forces, the fourth in order of precedence; the USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control; the U. S. Air Force is a military service branch organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the Air Force, through the Department of the Air Force, is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation.
The highest-ranking military officer in the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who exercises supervision over Air Force units and serves as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force components are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the combatant commands, neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff of the Air Force have operational command authority over them. Along with conducting independent air and space operations, the U. S. Air Force provides air support for land and naval forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field; as of 2017, the service operates more than 5,369 military aircraft, 406 ICBMs and 170 military satellites. It has a $161 billion budget and is the second largest service branch, with 318,415 active duty airmen, 140,169 civilian personnel, 69,200 reserve airmen, 105,700 Air National Guard airmen. According to the National Security Act of 1947, which created the USAF: In general, the United States Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned.
It shall be organized and equipped for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. §8062 of Title 10 US Code defines the purpose of the USAF as: to preserve the peace and security, provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories and possessions, any areas occupied by the United States. The stated mission of the USAF today is to "fly and win...in air and cyberspace". "The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance and Power for the nation".
The five core missions of the Air Force have not changed since the Air Force became independent in 1947, but they have evolved, are now articulated as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control. The purpose of all of these core missions is to provide, what the Air Force states as, global vigilance, global reach, global power. Air superiority is "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force". Offensive Counterair is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, launch platforms, their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible". OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and enjoys the initiative.
OCA comprises attack operations, sweep and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense. Defensive Counter air is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace". A major goal of DCA operations, in concert with OCA operations, is to provide an area from which forces can operate, secure from air and missile threats; the DCA mission comprises both passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy", it includes both ballistic missile defense and air-breathing threat defense, encompasses point defense, area defense, high-value airborne asset defense. Passive defense is "measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative", it includes warning.
Captain Marvel (DC Comics)
Captain Marvel known as Shazam, is a comic book superhero appearing in publications by American publisher DC Comics. Artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker created the character in 1939. Captain Marvel first appeared in Whiz Comics #2, published by Fawcett Comics, he is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a boy who, by speaking the magic word "SHAZAM!", can transform himself into a costumed adult with the powers of superhuman strength, speed and other abilities. The character battles an extensive rogues' gallery archenemies Dr. Sivana, Mister Mind, Black Adam. Based on book sales, the character was the most popular superhero of the 1940s, outselling Superman. Fawcett expanded the franchise to include other "Marvels" Marvel Family associates Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. who can harness Billy's powers as well. Captain Marvel was the first comic book superhero to be adapted into film, in a 1941 Republic Pictures serial, Adventures of Captain Marvel, with Tom Tyler as Captain Marvel and Frank Coghlan, Jr. as Billy Batson.
Fawcett ceased publishing Captain Marvel-related comics in 1953 because of a copyright infringement suit from DC Comics alleging that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman. In 1972, Fawcett sold the character rights to DC, which by 1991 had acquired all rights to the entire family of characters. DC has since integrated Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe and has attempted to revive the property several times, with mixed success. Due to trademark conflicts over other characters named "Captain Marvel" owned by Marvel Comics, DC has branded and marketed the character using the trademark Shazam! since his 1972 reintroduction. This led many to assume that "Shazam!" was the character's name, DC renamed the character "Shazam!" when relaunching its comic book properties in 2011, with his associates known as the "Shazam Family". The character has been featured in two television series adaptations by Filmation: one live action 1970s series with actors Jackson Bostwick and John Davey portraying the character, one animated 1980s series.
The 2019 New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. film Shazam! is part of the DC Extended Universe, with Zachary Levi portraying the title role and Asher Angel as Billy Batson. The character was ranked as the 55th greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN ranked Captain Marvel as the 50th greatest comic book hero of all time, stating that the character will always be an enduring reminder of a simpler time. UGO Networks ranked him as one of the top heroes of entertainment, saying, "At his best, Shazam has always been compared to Superman with a sense of crazy, goofy fun." After the success of National Comics' new superhero characters Superman and Batman, Fawcett Publications started its own comics division in 1939, recruiting writer Bill Parker to create several hero characters for the first title in their line, tentatively titled Flash Comics. Besides penning stories featuring Ibis the Invincible, Spy Smasher, Golden Arrow, Lance O'Casey, Scoop Smith, Dan Dare for the new book, Parker wrote a story about a team of six superheroes, each possessing a special power granted to them by a mythological figure.
Fawcett Comics' executive director Ralph Daigh decided it would be best to combine the team of six into one hero who would embody all six powers. Parker responded by creating a character he called "Captain Thunder". Staff artist Charles Clarence "C. C." Beck was recruited to design and illustrate Parker's story, rendering it in a direct, somewhat cartoony style that became his trademark. "When Bill Parker and I went to work on Fawcett’s first comic book in late 1939, we both saw how poorly written and illustrated the superhero comic books were," Beck told an interviewer. "We decided to give our reader a real comic book, drawn in comic-strip style and telling an imaginative story, based not on the hackneyed formulas of the pulp magazine, but going back to the old folk-tales and myths of classic times". The first issue of the comic book, printed as both Flash Comics #1 and Thrill Comics #1, had a low-print run in the fall of 1939 as an ashcan copy created for advertising and trademark purposes.
Shortly after its printing, Fawcett found it could not trademark "Captain Thunder", "Flash Comics", or "Thrill Comics", because all three names were in use. The book was renamed Whiz Comics, Fawcett artist Pete Costanza suggested changing Captain Thunder's name to "Captain Marvelous", which the editors shortened to "Captain Marvel"; the word balloons in the story were re-lettered to label the hero of the main story as "Captain Marvel". Whiz Comics #2 was published in late 1939; the comic's lead feature introduced audiences to Billy Batson, an orphaned 12-year-old boy who, by speaking the name of the ancient wizard Shazam, is struck by a magic lightning bolt and transformed into the adult superhero Captain Marvel. Shazam's name was an acronym derived from the six immortal elders who grant Captain Marvel his superpowers: Solomon, Atlas, Zeus and Mercury. In addition to introducing the main character, his alter ego, his mentor, Captain Marvel's first adventure in Whiz Comics #2 introduced his archenemy, the evil Doctor Sivana, found Billy Batson talking his way into a job as an on-air radio reporter with station WHIZ.
Captain Marvel was an instant success, with Whiz Comics #2 selling over 500,000 copies. By 1941, he had his own solo series, Captain Marvel Adventures, the premiere issue of, written and drawn by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby. Captain Marvel continued to appear in Whiz Comics, as well as periodic appearances in other Fa
Wallace Allan Wood was an American comic book writer and independent publisher, best known for his work on EC Comics's Mad and Marvel's Daredevil. He was one of Mad's founding cartoonists in 1952. Although much of his early professional artwork is signed Wallace Wood, he became known as Wally Wood, a name he claimed to dislike. Within the comics community, he was known as Woody, a name he sometimes used as a signature. In addition to Wood's hundreds of comic book pages, he illustrated for books and magazines while working in a variety of other areas – advertising. EC publisher William Gaines once stated, "Wally may have been our most troubled artist... I'm not suggesting any connection, but he may have been our most brilliant", he was the inaugural inductee into the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1989, was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1992. Wally Wood was born in Menahga, he began reading and drawing comics at an early age, he was influenced by the art styles of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates, Hal Foster's Prince Valiant, Will Eisner's The Spirit and Roy Crane's Wash Tubbs.
Recalling his childhood, Wood said that his dream at age six, about finding a magic pencil that could draw anything, foretold his future as an artist. Wood graduated from high school in 1944, signed on with the United States Merchant Marine at the close of World War II and enlisted in the U. S. Army's 11th Airborne Division in 1946, he went from training at Fort Benning, Georgia, to occupied Japan, where he was assigned to the island of Hokkaidō. In 1947, at age 20, Wood only lasted one term. Arriving in New York City with his brother Glenn and mother Alma, after his military discharge in July 1948, Wood found employment at Bickford's restaurant as a busboy. During his time off he carried his thick portfolio of drawings all over midtown Manhattan, visiting every publisher he could find, he attended the Hogarth School of Art but dropped out after one semester. By October, after being rejected by every company he visited, Wood met fellow artist John Severin in the waiting room of a small publisher.
After the two shared their experiences attempting to find work, Severin invited Wood to visit his studio, the Charles William Harvey Studio, where Wood met Charlie Stern, Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder. At this studio Wood learned, he visited Eisner and was hired on the spot. Over the next year, Wood became an assistant to George Wunder, who had taken over the Milton Caniff strip Terry and the Pirates. Wood cited his "first job on my own" as Chief Ob-stacle, a continuing series of strips for a 1949 political newsletter, he entered the comic book field by lettering, as he recalled in 1981: "The first professional job was lettering for Fox romance comics in 1948. This lasted about a year. I started doing backgrounds inking. Most of it was the romance stuff. For complete pages, it was $5 a page... Twice a week, I would ink ten pages in one day". Artists' representative Renaldo Epworth helped Wood land his early comic-book assignments, making it unclear if that connection led to Wood's lettering or to his comics-art debut, the ten-page story "The Tip Off Woman" in the Fox Comics Western Women Outlaws No. 4.
Wood's next known comic-book art did not appear until Fox's My Confession No. 7, at which time he began working continuously on the company's similar My Experience, My Secret Life, My Love Story and My True Love: Thrilling Confession Stories. His first signed work is believed to be in My Confession #8, with the name "Woody" half-hidden on a theater marquee, he penciled and inked two stories in that issue: "I Was Unwanted" and "My Tarnished Reputation". Wood began at EC co-penciling and co-inking with Harry Harrison the story "Too Busy For Love", penciling the lead story, "I Was Just a Playtime Cowgirl", in Saddle Romances No. 11, inked by Harrison. Working from a Manhattan studio at West 64th Street and Columbus Avenue, Wood began to attract attention in 1950 with his science-fiction artwork for EC and Avon Comics, some in collaboration with Joe Orlando. During this period, he drew in a wide variety of subjects and genres, including adventure, romance and horror. Battling Captain Marbles. Wood was instrumental in convincing EC publisher William Gaines to start a line of science fiction comics, Weird Science and Weird Fantasy.
Wood inked several dozen EC science fiction stories. Wood had frequent entries in Two-Fisted Tales and Tales from the Crypt, as well as the EC titles Valor and Aces High. Working over scripts and pencil breakdowns by Jules Feiffer, the 25-year-old Wood drew two months of Will Eisner's Sunday-supplement newspaper comic book The Spirit, on the 1952 story arc "The Spirit in Outer Space". Eisner, Wood recalled, paid him "about $30 a week for lettering and backgrounds on The Spirit. Sometimes he paid $40 when I did the drawings, too". Feiffer, in 2010, recalled Wood's studi
Legion of Super-Heroes
The Legion of Super-Heroes is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino, the Legion is a group of superpowered beings living in the 30th and 31st centuries of the DC Comics Universe, first appears in Adventure Comics #247; the team was associated with the original Superboy character, was portrayed as a group of time travelers. The Legion's origin and back story were fleshed out, the group was given its own monthly comic. Superboy was removed from the team altogether and appeared only as an occasional guest star; the team has undergone two major reboots during its run. The original version was replaced with a new rebooted version following the events of the "Zero Hour" storyline in 1994 and another rebooted team was introduced in 2004. A fourth version of the team, nearly identical to the original version, was introduced in 2007. Superboy was the featured series in Adventure Comics in the 1950s. In Adventure Comics #247 by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino, Superboy was met by three teenagers from the 30th century: Lightning Boy, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, who were members of a "super-hero club" called the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Their club had been formed with Superboy as an inspiration, they had time travelled to recruit Superboy as a member. After a series of tests, Superboy was returned to his own time. Although intended as a one-off story focusing on Superboy, the Legion proved so popular that it returned for an encore in Adventure Comics #267. In this story, Lightning Boy had been renamed Lightning Lad, their costumes were close to those they wore throughout the Silver Age of Comic Books; the Legion's popularity grew, they appeared in further stories in Adventure Comics, Action Comics, other titles edited by Mort Weisinger over the next few years. The ranks of the Legion, only hinted at in those first two stories, was filled with new heroes such as Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid, Colossal Boy, Star Boy, Brainiac 5, Triplicate Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Bouncing Boy, Phantom Girl, Ultra Boy; the 20th-century cousin to Superman, was recruited as a member. In Adventure Comics #300, the Legion received their own regular feature, cover-billed "Superboy in'Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes'".
While they would share space with Superboy solo stories for a couple of years, they displaced Superboy from the title as their popularity grew. Lightning Lad was killed in Adventure Comics #304 and revived in issue #312, it was the Adventure Comics run which established environment. A club of teenagers, they operated out of a clubhouse in the shape of an inverted yellow rocket ship which looked as if it had been driven into the ground; the position of Legion leader rotated among the membership. Each Legionnaire had to possess one natural superpower; some issues included comical moments where candidates with bizarre, useless, or dangerous abilities would try out for membership and be rejected. The Legion was based on Earth and protected an organization of humans and aliens called the United Planets alongside the regular police the Science Police; the setting for each story was 1000 years from the date of publication. In Adventure Comics #346, Jim Shooter, 14 years old at the time, wrote his first Legion story.
Soon thereafter, Shooter became the regular writer of the Legion stories, with Curt Swan, Win Mortimer, as artist. Shooter wrote the story in which Ferro Lad died—the first "real" death of a Legionnaire —and introduced many other enduring concepts, including the Fatal Five, Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass, the Dark Circle and the "Adult Legion", a conjecture regarding what the Legionnaires would be like when they grew up; the Legion's last appearance in Adventure Comics was #380, they were displaced by Supergirl in the next issue. The early 1970s saw the Legion relegated to the status of back-up feature. First, the team's stories were moved to Action Comics for issues #377–392. Following Mort Weisinger's retirement from DC, the Legion was passed to the oversight of editor Murray Boltinoff and began appearing as a backup in Superboy, starting with #172, with writers E. Nelson Bridwell and Cary Bates and artist George Tuska. Dave Cockrum began again increasing the team's popularity.
The first comic book published under the title Legion of Super-Heroes was a four-issue series published in 1973 that reprinted Legion tales from Adventure Comics. In the same year, the Legion returned to cover billing on a book when Superboy became Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes with #197. Crafted by Bates and Cockrum, the feature proved popular and saw such events as the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel in Superboy #200. Issues #202 and #205 of the series were in the 100 Page Super Spectacular format. Cockrum was replaced on art by Mike Grell as of issue #203 which featured the death of Invisible Kid. With #231, the book's title changed to Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes and became a "giant-size" title. At this point, the book was written by longtime fan
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
Roy William Thomas Jr. is an American comic book writer and editor, Stan Lee's first successor as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. He is best known for introducing the pulp magazine hero Conan the Barbarian to American comics, with a series that added to the storyline of Robert E. Howard's character and helped launch a sword and sorcery trend in comics. Thomas is known for his championing of Golden Age comic-book heroes – the 1940s superhero team the Justice Society of America – and for lengthy writing stints on Marvel's X-Men and The Avengers, DC Comics' All-Star Squadron, among other titles. Thomas was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2011. Thomas was born in Jackson, United States; as a child, he was a devoted comic book fan, in grade school he wrote and drew his own comics for distribution to friends and family. The first of these was All-Giant Comics, which he recalls as having featured such characters as Elephant Giant, he graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1961 with a BS in Education, having majored in history and social science.
Thomas became an early and active member of Silver Age comic book fandom when it organized in the early 1960s – around Jerry Bails, whose enthusiasm for the rebirth of superhero comics during that period led Bails to found the fanzine Alter Ego, an early focal point of fandom. Thomas a high school English teacher, took over as editor in 1964 when Bails moved on to other pursuits. Letters from him appeared in the letters pages of both DC and Marvel Comics, including The Flash #116, Fantastic Four #5, Fantastic Four #15, Fantastic Four #22. In 1965, Thomas moved to New York City to take a job at DC Comics as assistant to Mort Weisinger the editor of the Superman titles. Thomas said he had just accepted a fellowship to study foreign relations at George Washington University when he received a letter from Weisinger, "with whom I had exchanged one or two letters, tops", asking Thomas to become "his assistant editor on a several-week trial basis." Thomas had written a Jimmy Olsen script "a few months before, while still living and teaching in the St. Louis area," he said in 2005.
"I worked at DC for eight days in late June and early July of 1965" before accepting a job at Marvel Comics. The Marvel "Bullpen Bulletins" in Fantastic Four #61 describes Thomas "admitting that he gave up a scholarship to George Washington University just to write for Marvel!" This came after his chafing under the notoriously difficult Weisinger, to a point, Thomas said in 1981, that he would go "home to my dingy little room at, the George Washington Hotel in Manhattan, during that second week, feeling tears well into my eyes, at the ripe old age of 24." Familiar with editor and chief writer Stan Lee's Marvel work, feeling them "the most vital comics around", Thomas "just sat down one night at the hotel and – I wrote him a letter! Not applying for a job or anything so mundane as that – I just said that I admired his work, would like to buy him a drink some time. I figured he just might remember me from Alter Ego." Lee did, phoned Thomas to offer him a Marvel writing test. The writer's test, Thomas said in 1998, "was four Jack Kirby pages from Fantastic Four Annual #2... had Sol or someone take out the dialogue.
It was just black-and-white. Other people like Denny O'Neil and Gary Friedrich took it, but soon afterwards we stopped using it." The day after taking the test, Thomas was at DC, proofreading a Supergirl story, when Steinberg called asking Thomas to meet with Lee during lunch, where Thomas agreed to work for Marvel. He returned to DC to give "indefinite notice" to Weisinger, but Weisinger ordered him to leave and "I was back at Marvel less than an hour after I first left, had a Modeling with Millie assignment to do over the weekend, it was a Friday." His employment was announced in the "Bullpen Bulletins" section of Fantastic Four #47 under the heading "How About That! Department". Thomas described his early days at Marvel: I was hired after taking'writer's test', my first official job title at Marvel was'staff writer'. I wasn't hired as an assistant editor. I was supposed to come in 40 hours a week and write scripts on staff.... I sat at this corrugated metal desk with a typewriter in a small office with production manager Sol Brodsky and corresponding secretary Flo Steinberg.
Everybody who came up to Marvel wound up there, the phone was ringing, with conversations going on all around me.... At once though Stan proofed all the finished stories, he and Sol started having me check the corrections before they went out, that would break up my concentration still further.... They kept asking me to do this or that, or questions like in which issue something happened, or Stan would come in to check something, because I knew a lot about Marvel continuity up to that time.... It became apparent to them, that the staff writer thing wasn't working, Stan segued me over to being an editorial assistant, which worked out better for all concerned. To that point, editor-in-chief Lee had been the main writer of Marvel publications, with his brother, Larry Lieber picking up the slack scripting Lee-plotted stories. Thomas soon became the first new Marvel writer to sustain a presence, at a time when comics veterans such as Robert Bernstein, Ernie Hart, Leon Lazarus, Don Rico, fellow newcomers Steve Skeates and O'Neil did not.
His Marvel debut was
The X-Men are a team of fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by artist/co-writer Jack Kirby and writer Stan Lee, the characters first appeared in The X-Men #1, they are among the most recognizable and successful intellectual properties of Marvel Comics, appearing in numerous books, television shows and video games. Most of the X-Men are mutants, a subspecies of humans who are born with superhuman abilities activated by the "X-Gene"; the X-Men fight for peace and equality between normal humans and mutants in a world where antimutant bigotry is fierce and widespread. They are led by Charles Xavier known as Professor X, a powerful mutant telepath who can control and read minds, their archenemy is Magneto, a powerful mutant with the ability to manipulate and control magnetic fields and is the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants. Both have opposing philosophies regarding the relationship between mutants and humans. While the former works towards peace and understanding between mutants and humans, the latter views humans as a threat and believes in taking an aggressive approach against them, though he has found himself working alongside the X-Men from time to time.
Professor X is the founder of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters at a location called the X-Mansion, which recruits mutants from around the world. Located in Salem Center in Westchester County, New York, the X-Mansion is the home and training site of the X-Men; the founding five members of the X-Men who appear in The X-Men #1 are Angel, Cyclops and Marvel Girl. Since dozens of mutants from various countries and diverse backgrounds, a number of non-mutants, have held membership as X-Men. In 1963, with the success of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy, as well as the Hulk, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, co-creator Stan Lee wanted to create another group of superheroes but did not want to have to explain how they got their powers. In 2004, Lee recalled, "I couldn't have everybody bitten by a radioactive spider or exposed to a gamma ray explosion, and I took the cowardly way out. I said to myself, ` Why don't I just say, they were born that way.'"In a 1987 interview, Kirby said, The X-Men, I did the natural thing there.
What would you do with mutants who were just plain boys and girls and not dangerous? You school them. You develop their skills. So I gave them a teacher, Professor X. Of course, it was the natural thing to do, instead of disorienting or alienating people who were different from us, I made the X-Men part of the human race, which they were. Radiation, if it is beneficial, may create mutants that'll save us instead of doing us harm. I felt that if we train the mutants our way, they'll help us – and not only help us, but achieve a measure of growth in their own sense, and so, we could all live together. Lee devised the series title after Marvel publisher Martin Goodman turned down the initial name, "The Mutants," stating that readers would not know what a "mutant" was. Within the Marvel Universe, the X-Men are regarded to have been named after Professor Xavier himself; the original explanation for the name, as provided by Xavier in The X-Men #1, is that mutants "possess an extra power... one which ordinary humans do not!!
That is why I call my students... X-Men, for EX-tra power!" Early X-Men issues introduced the original team composed of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast and Iceman, along with their archenemy Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants featuring Mastermind, Scarlet Witch, Toad. The comic focused on a common human theme of good versus evil and included storylines and themes about prejudice and racism, all of which have persisted throughout the series in one form or another; the evil side in the fight was shown in human form and under some sympathetic beginnings via Magneto, a character, revealed to have survived Nazi concentration camps only to pursue a hatred for normal humanity. His key followers and the Scarlet Witch, were Romani. Only one new member of the X-Men was added, Mimic/Calvin Rankin, but soon left due to his temporary loss of power; the title lagged in sales behind Marvel's other comic franchises. In 1969, writer Roy Thomas and illustrator Neal Adams rejuvenated the comic book and gave regular roles to two introduced characters: Havok/Alex Summers and Lorna Dane called Polaris.
However, these X-Men issues failed to attract sales and Marvel stopped producing new stories with issue #66 reprinting a number of the older comics as issues #67–93. In Giant-Size X-Men #1, writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum introduced a new team that starred in a revival of The X-Men, beginning with issue #94; this new team replaced the previous members with the exception of Cyclops. This team differed from the original. Unlike in the early issues of the original series, the new team was not made up of teenagers and they had a more diverse background; each was from a different country with varying cultural and philosophical beliefs, all were well-versed in using their mutant powers, several being experienced in combat. The "all-new, all-different X-Men" were led by Cyclops, from the original team, consisted of the newly created Colossus, Nightcrawler and Thunderbird, three introduced characters: Banshee and Wolve