MARVEL BOY #1-6 (2000-2001)

Marvel Boy is a cult classic, and deservedly so. Two of this Century’s greatest comic book creators create a complex, wholly adult, unprecedently imaginative superhero book.

Marvel Boy was a character from 1950, but this Marvel Knights reboot bears almost no similarities.

It starts with a reality-hopping spaceship (powered by “Kirby engines”) getting attacked and destroyed, with a young Kree boy named Noh-Varr being the sole survivor. (Note that the ship is named “The Marvel.”)

Marvel Boy is captured by the attacker, a man named Doctor Midas, who claims Marvel Boy as his property.

He looks a lot like Iron Man.

Midas decides to torture Noh-Varr, but now we learn that the kid has a very interesting super power: Instead of feeling pain, he hears music. He also has “nanoactive” body fluids, making him a living weapon.

Marvel Boy escapes Midas and lands on Earth. Along with pieces of his destroyed Kree ship, and an escapee from the ship’s prison: A living corporation called Hexus, which tries to “own” all the oxygen on Earth and charge people for the right to breathe.

Marvel Boy kills it.

Meanwhile, Dum Dum Dugan and SHIELD have identified the crash of the Marvel and are tracking Noh-Varr. So he sends them a message by setting New York on fire.

Noh Varr also meets–and teams up with–Midas’ abused daughter, Oubliette. As a result of the psychological damage inflicted on her by her father, she has taken on the identity of Exterminatrix.

She wears a mask because her father told her that she was hideous, but in reality she is beautiful and has a small facial scar.

When we finally see Midas without his armor, he is a composite of Mr. Fantastic and Thing, with a touch of the Mindless Ones. And also a living Iron Man.

After he and Oubliette seemingly kill Midas, SHIELD captures and imprisons him as a threat to Earth.

President Clinton is not a fan.

Issue #6 ends with a cliffhanger–Marvel Boy decides to take over Earth.

Sadly, that story never gets told.

When it came out, Marvel Boy was easily the most intricate and philosophically complex comic Marvel had ever produced. It’s still pretty “up there” in terms of the greatest Marvel Comics of all time.

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