Stan Lee’s first superhero became a bloodthirsty Captain America

Long before characters like John walker was inspired by Captain America, Stan lee The first superhero was a pastiche cap named Destroyer. Although the character enjoyed a brief time in the spotlight of early Marvel heroes, he quickly faded into obscurity. Still, his legacy as Lee’s first superhero has always piqued the interest of comic book makers who grew up in Lee’s shadow. The most radical departure came from Living Dead creator Robert Kirkman, who turned Destroyer into an absolutely brutal hero.

Created in 1941 by Stan Lee and Jack Binder by Mystical Comics # 6, Destroyer It’s Kevin Marlow’s secret identity. Marlow was a journalist in the United States before World War II who took the opportunity to investigate Nazi atrocities when their existence was still controversial. He was quickly captured and put in a cell with a Nazi scientist who was working on a super soldier serum. The scientist sees Marlow’s goodness and gives him the serum so he can leave. Marlow then becomes the superhero Destroyer, a fighter for dictators around the world. Several other characters would later take up the mantle of Destroyer, and some even ceased to exist Marlow. In 2009, however, they brought him back in a way that no one expected.

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Created by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker for Marvel’s darkest MAX footprint, the five themes Destroyer The series followed a much older Kevin Marlow today. Despite his advanced age, Marlow continues to work as a Destroyer and continues to serve the government to fight terrorists. However, her world is turned upside down when she receives news from her doctor that her heart could fail at any moment. Wanting to make sure his family is safe after he’s gone, Marlow goes on a quest to kill each and every one of his villains. The journey that follows is incredibly violent. After Marlow murders all of his villains, he finally has a heart attack in his bed. However, his rampage doesn’t stop there, as he kills the three Grim Reapers sent to bring him into the afterlife, allowing him to make a full recovery.

What makes Kirkman and Walker have a short career Destroyer so shocking is how far their violence goes. Without having to worry about maintaining Marvel’s typical PG-13 level of violence, Destroyer can truly live up to his name. He repeatedly smashes skulls with his fists in a move that will make readers think more about Mortal Kombat deaths than anything from the House of Ideas. During a notable encounter, Marlow literally rips off a villain’s arm and tries to give it to him.

Although it is easy to focus on ultraviolence, what makes this work? Destroyer a pleasure to read is how uncynical it is. Unlike many aging superhero stories inspired by The Dark Knight Returns like marvel Spider-Man: Reign, Marlow’s life is pretty good. He has a wife, daughter and granddaughter. She even has a solid relationship with her ex-partner, Turret (who is her daughter’s husband). Despite the abundant bloodshed, this is not a story interested in examining the psychological impact of living a life of violence.

Stan lee Destroyer may have started as a pastiche of Captain America, but he became a much better hero, and much more violent, than John walker could ever be.

Next: Stan Lee’s wildest creation is a manga where he is the villain

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