xmen1The very first X-Men comic to be published by Marvel was X-Men #1. It was released in September of 1963, and the team consisted of Professor X, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. The X-Men’s most popular character, Wolverine, didn’t join the team until 12 years later in 1975 when he appeared in Giant Size X-Men #1!

A Fastball Special is the term that was originally coined for when the steel-bodied Colossus tossed a feral Wolverine at an opponent. Over the years though, many different characters have performed the move, but it has only been perfected by the Russian and Canadian mutants.

Meanwhile, over at D.C. Comics, there have been four different characters who have taken up the Robin mantle at Batman’s side. In order of duty they have been: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Tim Drake again. Dick Grayson later grew up to become the blue and black clad Nightwing. Jason Todd brutally died at the hands of The 101113-48969-fastball-special1Joker only to return years later as the vigilante Red Hood. Now Todd has become something of an anti-hero, taunting his former comrades by donning their costumes and delivering a harsher form of justice. Tim Drake is still in high cover-largeschool and could easily be compared to Marvel’s Peter Parker during his younger years. Before she was Robin, Stephanie Brown patrolled the streets of Gotham City as the purple robed Spoiler. Batman took her under his wing when Tim went on an hiatus as Robin, giving Stephanie the role of Batman’s right hand… woman. She was seemingly killed by the villain Black Mask, only to come back a few years later. She has returned to her role as Spoiler.

Similarly, the Batgirl cowl has been taken up by two different women: Police Commissioner James Gordon’s daughter, Barbara Gordon, and the act first/ask questions later, Cassandra Cain. Barbara Gordon was Batgirl until The Joker crippled her by busting up her legs in “The Killing Joke” story arc. She is now consigned to a wheel chair and goes by the name of Oracle. Oracle is a computer hack, essentially taking the role of ‘mission control’ when it comes to the Bat-Family. Ironically, Cassandra Cain (who currently dons the Batgirl title) was trained by Barbara and is a total bad ass.

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