Marvel Comics did not slow down during the 1980s. On the contrary, it accelerated again after the previous decade of some hits and misses. The 80s were the era of Secret wars, “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and the beginning of Peter David’s 12 years in The incredible Hulk.
The 1980s were also a time for introducing new characters. Truth be told, it was a decade for women. Of the new heroes that debuted during this time, most of them are of female persuasion.
10 Kitty Pryde (1980) was the youngest X-Man to date
When writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne introduced Kitty Pryde at X Men # 129 was a precocious 13 year old girl. At that time, she was the youngest to join the team. She was also a breath of fresh air.
Although the starting quintet of Charles Xavier’s students were teenagers when he was introduced to them in the 1960s, they had grown into young adults in 1980. Even the characters brought back through 1975 Giant X-Men they were much older than the originals. So bringing in the bright, goofy Kitty helped change the team dynamic.
9 Dazzler (1980) appeared during the last days of the disco
Readers may remember the mutant known as Dazzler from his 42-issue series by writer and co-creator Tom DeFalco. However, Allison Blaire’s first appearance was X Men # 130. Just a month after Kitty Pryde joined the team.
Initially, the character, who converts sound vibrations into energy beams, was supposed to be part of a cross-promotion between Marvel and Casablanca records. Hence the most likely reason for her disco outfit. However, when that musical genre began to fade in the 1980s, Allison began to spread into other musical areas. After his series ended in the mid-1980s, he reunited with the X-Men led by Wolverine in a more modern suit.
8 Rogue (1981) started out as a villain
The creators of the House of Ideas like to start their heroes as antagonists. Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Wonder Man started out as villains. So did one of the most popular mutants of the 1980s: Rogue.
His debut was in Avengers Annual # 10 where she was part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants of Mystique. Although her mutant ability to absorb someone else’s powers gave her some minor abilities, it was her encounter with Carol Danvers during this issue that gave Rogue the superhuman powers of strength and flight. Realizing she was on the wrong side of things, Rogue turned to Professor X for help. He finally became a member of the Merry Mutants in 1983.
7 Elektra (1981) would eventually become a star
Writer and artist Frank Miller did an amazing job on Reckless during its first run in the series beginning in 1979. It resurrected the comic by infusing it with art and noir-ish stories. Additionally, he introduced several new characters to the Daredevil mythos. One of them, in fact the most important, is Elektra.
Introduced in issue 168, the antihero didn’t seem like a person Matt Murdock fell in love with. However, their violent tendencies kept tearing them apart. His popularity would grow to the point that he appeared in other series after his death and resurrection. Although Miller asked Marvel not to include Elektra in any other posts, she remains an iconic character today.
6 Monica Rambeau (1982) took Captain Marvel Monicker
In 1982, Marvel published its first graphic novel, The death of Captain Marvel. It recounted the battle against cancer and the eventual death of the Kree soldier Mar-Vell. It also apparently closed the chapter on this hero. Or so the readers thought.
In the same year, Monica Rambeau took the nickname of this dead hero. Created by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr., her first appearance as Captain Marvel appeared in Annual Amazing Spider-Man #sixteen. Not long after he became a member and eventual leader of the Avengers. Since then, Monica has reappeared several times under the names Pulsar, Photon, and Spectrum.
5 The New Mutants (1982) ushered in a new generation of X-Men
Things were going pretty well for Chris Claremont in X Men. 1980’s “The Dark Phoenix Saga” was a huge success. Same with 1981’s “Days of Future Past.” Still, Marvel’s editor-in-chief at the time, Jim Shooter, thought a spin-off was needed to expand the X-Men universe.
This is how The new mutants came to be. Set in a 1982 graphic novel of the same name, they got their own series in 1983 from Claremont and artist Bob McLeod. As with the original team, this group originally included five members who were under Professor X’s tutelage. Over time, their ranks would grow and change. Still, for the most part, the backbone of the New Mutants has remained the same for decades.
4 Cloak & Dagger (1982) entered the Marvel Universe through Spider-Man
The Spider-Man titles of the 1980s were a hotbed for introducing new characters. The aforementioned Captain Marvel made her initial appearance in the main title. Towards the end of the decade, the Venom character would begin his career in the comics. Between that, Cloak & Dagger made their initial bow.
Created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Ed Hannigan, the superhuman duo first appeared on Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man # 64. After several guest appearances, they received their own miniseries and bimonthly title. What made them different was the lack of battles with costumed supervillains. They were truly street level fighters with extraordinary abilities.
3 Power Pack (1984) was even younger than the Teen Titans
You couldn’t launch a comic without hitting a teenage hero in the 1980s. DC had the New Teen Titans and individuals like Firestorm. Marvel had the New Mutants and Kitty Pryde from the X-Men. What neither had was a team of preteen heroes.
In 1984, it would be in the form of a Power Pack. Created by Louise Simonson, this quartet of brothers was between 12 and five years old. Each of them received a superpower from a dying alien. Together, they dealt with mature villains and problems while hiding their secrets from their loving parents.
two Firestar (1985) went from Saturday mornings to comics
In 1981, NBC released Spider-Man and his amazing friends on your Saturday morning schedule. The show united the Wall-Crawler with two other heroes. One of them was the Iceman from the X-Men. The second was another X-Man created for the show, Firestar.
The popularity of this character, who flies and generates rays of heat in her hands, helped her move from television to comics. He made his first appearance in X Men # 193 by Claremont and John Romita Jr. However, she was not the hero she was in Amazing friends. Initially, he works with Emma Frost, the White Queen, to make a mess for the Merry Mutants.
1 Jubilee (1989) was a late 80s newcomer
Chris Claremont ended the 1980s the same way he entered it. Introduced a new teenage X-Man to turn things around a bit. This time it was the Jubilation mall rat “Jubilee” Lee.
The writer joined then X Men artist Marc Silvestri to present Jubilee at issue 244. He meets the team when a quartet of the women are transported to the Hollywood Mall in Los Angeles. After the X-Men defeat the M-Squad, they are transported back to the mansion. Unbeknownst to them, Jubilee follows them through the front door.
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