Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Life and Times of Dominic Fortune.

 


 

The Chronology.

C1915

 David Jerome Fortunov is born in New York. He later adopts the name Dominic Fortune. (Taken from S.H.I.E.L.D no11 where it is said that Fortune is 100 years old)

1920

Steve Rogers born.

1931 Davey Fortunov rescues Stevie Rogers from a gang of bullies (Marvel Super-Heroes #3)

1932-1935 The Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay takes place.  Fortune flies three tours for both sides, working for the winning Paraguay side at the end of the war. (Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now #1)

1936



Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now 1-4 

Fortune returns to the States and is hired to bodyguard three actors at the 1936 Olympics, he discovers a plot to overthrow the United States government. (Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now #2&3)

Columbus Day 1936 (October 12)

Fortune manages to stop the coup. (Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now #4)

March 31 – May 1937

Astonishing Tales: Dominic Fortune.1-6 

Fortune is hired by Amanda Maclain to investigate the death of her sister. 

The crash of the Hindenberg is mentioned in issue #4.

1937

“Ghoul of My Dreams” Hulk! #22 

“Moo over Manhattan” Hulk! #23 

Fortune stops an assassination planned by Baron Von Strucker

Christmas 1937

“Slay Bells” Hulk! #25 

Fortune encounters The Silhouette (Lamar Canfield), his girlfriend Margo Payne and assistant Harry while preventing the assassination of the British Ambassador.

1938


“The Power Broker Resolution” Marvel Preview #2
.

March 1938

“The Messiah in the Saddle Resolution” Marvel Super Action #1 

Spring 1938

“The Big Top Barter Resolution” Marvel Premiere #56 

Fortune helps Dum-Dum Dugan when he is swindled out of his circus.

Dugan would later become a Howling Commando and agent of SHIELD with Nick Fury.

1940

Steve Rogers watches news reel footage of Dominic Fortune and realises that it is Davey Fortunov.

Fortunov is asked to be the first test subject for Project Rebirth but is rejected due to his gambling and being Jewish.

Steve is selected as his replacement and Fortune rescues him from a Nazi kidnapping attempt. (Marvel Super-Heroes #3)

 

1940

Fortune and Sabbath Raven are separated in the Nazi invasion of Holland. (referenced in Web of Spiderman #71)

 

1942

Fortune mentions seeing Namor in 1942. (Reference in Avengers 1959 #4)

1959

New Avengers 10-13

Nick Fury recruits Dum-Dum Dugan, Dominic Fortune, Victor Creed (Sabretooth), Namora, Sergei Kravenoff (Kraven the Hunter), Ulysses Bloodstone, Ernst Sablinova (Silver Sable) as a strikeforce known as Avengers 1959 to hunt for fugitive Nazis and discovers that a fake Red Skull has created their own fake Captain America. (I am ignoring the modern day part of the story)

1959

The Avengers 1959

The Avengers 1959 are reformed with Dominic Fortune, Victor Creed (Sabretooth), Namora, Sergei Kravenoff (Kraven the Hunter), and the Blonde Phantom (Louise Grant) to battle a Nazi sorcerer. Man-Gorilla of Agents of ATLAS appears and a reference is made Jimmy Woo.

1981

Marvel Team Up #120

Spiderman teams up with an older Dominic Fortune to fight Turner D. Century.  Reference is made to Spider-Woman.

As Spiderman, Dominic Fortune, and Spiderwoman all have independent links to CU it seems likely that this crossover took place.  Fortune is appropriately aged as a man active in the 1930s.

Web of Spiderman #10

Spiderman and Fortune crossover again.

1985



Iron Man #212-213

Dominic Fortune encounters Iron Man and is believed dead.  Fortune’s son Jerry briefly becomes the new Dominic Fortune before his death but his father returns to the mantle.


1985


Web of Spiderman #71-72

When seeking to avenge the death of his son, Fortune encounters Spiderman and Silver Sable (Silvija Sablinova).

1990

Dominic Fortune again encounters Captain America (Marvel Superheroes #3)

 

2005



Sable & Fortune

Silver Sable retires from the Wild Pack and works with a man calling himself Dominic Fortune.

(This would be 20 years after her meeting with Fortune in 1985, presuming that she was around 20 then she would be in her 40s now)

(When this Dominic introduces himself Sable says like the “Dominic Fortune? As in brigand, adventurer? Circa 1930? That Dominic Fortune? The years have been kind.” Fortune responds “You might say that” He does not bring up their earlier encounter and changes the subject.  It is also mentioned that he is not a good fighter unlike the original.

 

2008

Vanguard

Dominic Fortune is part of a clandestine team known as Vanguard with Blade, Micromax, Yelena Belova, and Retcon. 

The Thing appears and they encounter Colonel America, an attempt to recreate Captain America but his abilities are too strong.

 

2010

Hawkeye and Mockingbird

Dominic Fortune is one of members of the World Counterterrorism Agency with Mockingbird, Hawkeye, Twitchy, Bangs and London. They battle the Slade family of Phantom Riders and the mercenary known as Crossfire.  Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes appear as does Luke Cage.

 

It is stated the Fortune can heal quickly and at the end of the story Fortune reveals that he is the original who some point in the decade before drank a variant of the Super Soldier serum which rejuvenated him with memory loss before he grew the moustache and recalled his life.

 

2011

Widowmaker

These events follow directly after Hawkeye and Mockingbird.  Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Fortune, and Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) track down a killer

Fortune mentions meeting Yelena (reference to Vanguard) and claims to be the one and only.  There is no reference to his dying as the super soldier serum degrades and he is fine in battle.

The text refers to him as the 1940s Brigand for hire.

 

2011

New Avengers (present day)

 

 

2015

SHIELD #11 December 2015 writer Mark Waid and art by Howard Chaykin

Dominic Fortune visits SHIELD to get assistance to get his casino back and works with Phil Coulson.

Fortune is a sprightly 100 and mentions working with Nick Fury in 1959.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

SHIELD #11 December 2015

 



Story by Mark Waid and Art by Howard Chaykin.

This series is basically a tie in to the Agents of SHIELD TV Series and the cover promises us a young Dom flirting with Simmons and Melinda May but neither lady appears in the comic and it’s old man Dom again.

Dom turns up to SHIELD’s covert headquarters asking for Nick Fury, who he hung around with in 1959. 

Coulson sees Fortune, and one of the techs mentions that Fortune looks too young to be 100 (as the story is set in 2015 and he was born in 1915) Coulson says there’s a story but it’s above the tech’s paygrade.

Coulson greets Fortune with a similar reverence to how he met Captain America in The Avengers (2012).  When asked what he can do for Dominic, Coulson is told to get Hydra off his boat The Mississippi Queen.  Clearly, Dom had reacquired it after finding Raven but woke up with a headache and the revelation that he had gambled the boat away to Tug Freeland, an internet financial advisor. 

Coulson takes Fortune to the ship in the flying corvette and shows off a very handy suit feature that changes his business suit to a tuxedo. (Q section – borrow this for the next bond film.)  Fortune gives Coulson a bill for his services but Coulson brushes him off.  Which is a nice bit.

They go to the party, there’s some banter with Tug and Dominic then talks to Obsidian Mars also known as Sid.  Tug tries to throw Dom and Coulson off the boat but Dom starts a fight and when everyone is watching, tells Freeland that Coulson is SHIELD.

Coulson is taken below deck and Dom is given a warning. Dom sneaks after Tug and hears their plan – steal all the data from their wealthy guests, use it disrupt the stock market, maybe a little blackmail with the photos.  But Sid says that Tug thinks too small, just blow up the boat killing multiple billionaires, that would throw the market into chaos.  Dom is caught and thrown into the same cell as Coulson.  He tells Coulson that he knows the plan.  He then reveals that when Raven died she left him the Mississippi Queen and he has frittered it all away.  Dom mentions that he used to have a decent pitch but he stopped watching baseball when Bob Feller lost his edge as he couldn’t stand to watch.

Coulson then hits a button on his shirt and calls a SHIELD strike team.  Tug and Sid take off in a helicopter and Dom finds the bomb she planted on his bed.  Dom pitches the explosive and blows up the chopper.

Later, Coulson hands over the title to the Mississippi Queen to Fortune and tells Dom that he has cured him of his romanticising of Dom’s generation.  Dom then toasts a picture of Sabbath Raven.

This is a really nice story for Coulson and would have made a good  episode to give the other actors a break. 

Dominic Fortune was meant to appear in the world of Agents of SHIELD, played by Delroy Lindo in the spin-off Most Wanted working with Mockingbird and Lance Hunter.  That was filmed in 2016 and never released so we are still waiting for Dom to appear in live action.

A fun idea might be a Disney + series with Clint Eastwood as Old Man Dom and Scott Eastwood as the younger Dom splitting episodes with flashbacks. 

For now this is the last appearance of Dom in any fashion but this is comics so never say never.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

The Avengers 1959 Saga

 

The New Avengers 10-13 May 2011- August 2011

Story by Brian Michael Bendis art by Mike Deodato and Howard Chaykin

Guess what?  This isn’t one story but two as we bop between the present and 1959.  (which based on the original Marvel stories were only four years before Hulk, Ant-man, Wasp, The Hulk and Thor created their team of the same name)

Following the adventures of Dominic Fortune as we are here, it’s really only the 1959 part we care about. All we need to know about the present The New Avengers are fighting H.A.M.M.E.R agents and Mockingbird is severely injured all of which are drawn by Mike Deodato.  We flashback to 1959 and Nick Fury with Dum-Dum Dugan form a black ops team with Sabretooth, Namorita, Sergei Kraven, Ulysses Bloodstone, Ernst Sablinova (Silver Sable) and Dominic Fortune.  This black ops team attack a Nazi base in Sweden where Red Skull has been reported to be located.  When the team attacks Skull’s base, a fake Captain America appears.  It appears that the Nazis also wanted their own supersoldier and made a serum as well as the infinity formula, making the recipient super strong, bullet proof and immortal. 1959 members of the Avengers Initiative stop the phony Captain America and retrieve the hybrid serum.

If you guessed that Fury busts out the confiscated serum and gives to it to Mockingbird.  Yay! No tie-in to what happened in Hawkeye & Mockingbird though.

It is nice that it ties back to Web of Spiderman 71 & 72 telling us how Fortune met Silver Sable’s father.


 

Avengers 1959 1-5 December 2011-March 2012

Story and Art by Howard Chaykin

The New Avengers story must have done well and/or fired by Chaykin’s creative juices as it came out fairly quickly after that original story.

We open with the first Avengers 1959 team celebrating their success before they go their own ways.  Ernst Sable and Ulyssess Bloodstone are off to the Savage Land for a spot of hunting.  Kraven and Sabretooth have an altercation over Namorita and after shooting Sabretooth, the couple decide that they should leave for their health.

That’s where we flash to Lousie Mason The Domino Lady -  Chaykin has her undercover spying on a rogue Nazi named Skul posing as his girlfriend.  There’s a nice visual that she is in red lingerie and wearing black framed glasses that suggest her red dress – domino mask combo.  (Now I want to do a Domino Lady/Blonde Phantom story).

A group of assassins with a Skull logo try to kill Fury, Namorita, Kraven, Dominic Fortune and Sabretooth and set up diplomatic relations with Wakanda.

Strangely the assassination attempts upset their targets and along with some other intelligence from an Englishman Powell McTeague that Skul is setting up his neo-Nazi attacks from Latveria.  Fury and Blonde Phantom investigate Skul while Fortune, Sabretooth, Kraven and Namorita attack one of Skul’s ships carrying Nazi supervillains Baron Blood and Brain Drain.  Magic Nazi pirates.  What more do I have to say.

McTeague acts and dresses like John Steed, which I guess is a fun nod to The Avengers TV series.

There’s a plot for a Nazi sympathiser to take over America but The Avengers manage to stop him with a little bit of Magic.

It’s a fun tale with several Nazi supervillains as well as magic.  Fortune doesn’t do much which was a surprise.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Hawkeye & Mockingbird 1-6 Widowmaker 1-4 August 2010 to April 2011

 

UGGGGHHHHH I am over Dom 3 let's just do the last two stories in one post.

Written by Jim McCann Art by David Lopez

And Dom 3 is back working for Mockingbird’s World Counterterrorism Agency or WCA for short (get it, get it, WCA like West Coast Avengers that Hawkeye and Mockingbird were members.)

The Phantom Rider is back and there is terrorism with William “Crossfire” Cross.  Ghostly shenanigans occur and Mockingbird is reminded of when she killed the original Phantom Rider in some timey-wimey stuff back in the West Coast Avengers.

Dom’s grown an Errol Flynn moustache which is a nice touch and he has a flirty relationship with Mockingbird.

Issue one has a history of Hawkeye and Mockingbird going back to their first appearances in the 60s and 70s but the story hints that Mockingbird’s debut as The Huntress took place only ten years ago.

This story feels too superhero for Dominic Fortune and with three different teams (Sable/Fortune, Vanguard and now WCA) it feels like there was no real plan for Dom 3.

Dom does a little bit in this series but look at the title of the series – most of the cool stuff has Hawkeye and Mockingbird.

We do have a revelation in issue 6 – that Dom 3 is actually Dom 1, he’d taken the version of the super-soldier serum that Bobbi Morse worked on and turned Ted Sallis into Man-Thing.  He was initially amnesiac and then recovered but the unstable serum is starting to wear off and he wants Bobbi to help him.

I wanted to like this but the whole Dom 3 as a de-aged original Dom just doesn’t work there’s nothing in the earlier appearances to make that work and ugh sliding timescale.

It just feels like things are being thrown at the wall to see what sticks.

Next up is Widowmaker – a cross over with Hawkeye & Mockingbird with Black Widow.


 

Widowmaker 1-4 

Written by Jim McCann (1& 3) Dwayne Swierczynski (2&4) Art by David Lopez (1&3) Manuel Garcia (2&4)

Hawkeye, Mockingbird and Dominic Fortune team up with Natasha Romanov, Black Widow to investigate the death of several spies around the world by Ronin.

Blah, Blah, Blah – looks like we’ve forgotten the revelations from Hawkeye and Mockingbird that were revealed only the month before.  Dom is just there in the background, he tells Natasha that he met another blonde Black Widow, which means that Vangard is continuity with this.  Ugh, I can’t even I’ve over Dom 3– checks comics – thank goodness no more Dom 3 as revitalised classic Dom. Marvel never really seemed to know what to do with the young contemporary Dominic Fortune.  Sable and Fortune started well but the plane started nosediving with the nonsensical Vangard and couldn’t recover with next two mini-series.

So here’s the scenario – Marvel calls me in and says hey Brad we want to do a contemporary Dominic Fortune set in the Marvel universe – what do you want to do?

I say two words Howard Chaykin.  But seriously, here’s the plan we reveal that the new Dominic Fortune is Daniel Fortunov, the son of Jerry Fortunov and the original’s grandson. After the death of Jerry and bringing Wolfgang Von Lundt, the old man moves in to help raise his grandchildren. (To avoid confusion, I will refer to the Dominics by their birthnames – David, Jerry and Daniel)

David trains all his grandchildren to make up for what happened to their father.  The younger Sabbath Raven breaks out of jail and kidnaps young Daniel – David rescues him and Daniel swears he will become the new Dominic Fortune. 

I’d keep Sable and Fortune in continuity and get rid of Vangard, Hawkeye and Mockingbird, and Widowmaker.  I’d give him his own series of miniseries and oneshots that have him troubleshooting.  Have him as the guy the other heroes call when they are stuck  or have to be on the other side of the universe stopping Galactus or some such.  He investigates industrial espionage at Stark Enterprises, bodyguarding family members, bidding against Heroes for Hire for jobs. 

You could make Sabbath II and Silver Sable rivals set them up as the angel and the devil on his shoulder.

Have Old Man Dom serve a similar role to Wildcat mentoring some of the younger members of the hero community as well as Dom III

I know it’s wacky but have a plan for the character.

Next up is two Avengers 1959 stories by Howard Chaykin (thank you Mr Chaykin for coming back) and the final appearance to date of Dominic Fortune.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Dominic Fortune Max 1-4 October 2009 – January 2010

 



Art and story by Howard Chaykin

Hoo boy, Chaykin is back baby!  Inject this right in my veins.  It opens during the Paraguay- Boliva War and Fortune mentions that he has done three tours, two for Paraguay who he is flying for at the end of the war in 1935 (presumably he was in for the entire three years of the war) and with the war ending he is looking for new work.  Dom points out that he is not a patriot and politics, religion or nationality don’t drive him.  He is after the money. 

He met Delatriz Betancourt, also flying for Paraguay and she might have an offer for him. Delatriz, the descendant of Confederate soldiers who moved to South America, is flirty and distracts Dom enough that he gets shot down and parachutes in the hotel pool, which is surrounded by several ladies in various states of undress.  Chaykin is using the adult Max line to his advantage (just as he did in the magazine lines for many of Dom’s original appearances.)

However, that opportunity dries up when Delatriz and her business colleague Malcolm Upshaw discover that Dominic Fortune is Jewish.

However, one of the naked ladies was Heather Fontaine and when Dom gets back to LA, they begin an affair.  Fontaine’s husband, Irwin Oppenheim, a studio executive, hires Dom to baby sit three of his big stars -Jock Madison, Vaughn Lorillard and P.T. Oakley.  (disguised versions of John Carridine, Errol Flynn and, W.C. Fields) when they go to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics. 

Fortune discovers that Upshaw and Delatriz are both working with the Germans and a rogue American army unit to kill the President.  Fortune steals a plane and lands in time to rather forcefully stop the army unit with the plane’s propellor and fight hand to hand with Upshaw saving the President.

This was a great romp with several fun fights and some rather adult scenes and scenarios.  There is a lot of anti-Semitism thrown around but that was not uncommon for the time and it fit with villains who were happy allying themselves with Nazis.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Astonishing Adventures: Dominic Fortune 1-6 April – September 2009

 


Written by Dean Motter Art by Greg Scott

This originally appeared as a digital comic and was only collected in Dominic Fortune: It can happen here and now along with Howard Chaykin’s Dominic Fortune Max series and reprints of the stories from Marvel Preview 2 and Marvel Premiere #56 and a Who’s Who Entry for Dominic Fortune. 

I’ve done the reprints earlier and I’ll look at the Who’s Who at the end of this review, with the Max series next.

The story opens in 1936, Dom is working as a test pilot/private eye out of an office in Los Angeles.  Fortune is hired by Amanda Maclain to investigate the death of her sister. The investigation takes them to:

· New York where they encounter Howard Stark, Dr Myron McClain;

· Germany where they meet Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, Johan Schmidt, Baron Helmut Zemo;

· Latveria: Werner von Doom;

· Wakanda: T’Chaka;

· Casablanca: Fortune’s friend Rick is able to get them letters of transit;

· Lord Robert Plunder is mentioned.

And involves the Nazis and Stark trying to obtain Vibranium.

Rick is of course Rick Blaine from the movie Casablanca.

Howard Stark is the father of Tony Stark (Iron Man).

Johan Schmidt would later become the Red Skull and along with the Barons von Strucker and Zemo enemies of Captain America and Nick Fury.

Werner von Doom is the father of Doctor Doom.

T’Chaka is the father of T’Chala his successor as The Black Panther.

Lord Robert Plunder is the father of Lord Kevin Plunder Ka-Zar.

The crash of the Hindenberg is mentioned in issue #4.

It’s a total ride through the Marvel Universe of the 1930s and a lot of fun.

The art is quite nice with sketchy style and a pastel colour scheme.  It’s a nice story that really cements Dom in the 1930s.  The story ends with Sabbath Raven offering Dom to come and live on the Mississippi Queen.

 

The Who’s Who article gives us a good recounting of the stories up until the Vanguard story giving us Dominic Fortune’s history mentioning Jerome’s brief time as Dominic Fortune and the appearance of the third Dominic Fortune.  The stats tell us that that his family consisted of Wife (unnamed, deceased), Jerome (son, deceased), Betty (Daughter-in-law), daughter, two grandsons and a granddaughter (all unidentified).  Where did we learn about the daughter? I don’t know.  I’ve read all the stories and there was no mention of a daughter.

Monday, January 22, 2024

“Vanguard” in Marvel Comics Presents 1-12, November 2007- October 2008

 

Story by Marc Guggenheim and Art by Dave Wilkins

This is an usual one.  I’m not a big fan of the story which involves the investigation of the murder of a man nobody can identify but witnesses saw the Watcher, Mr Fantastic turns up, and someone tries to kill, Stacy Dolan, the cop investigating and she is rescued by Vanguard, a covert group consisting of Blade, Micromax, Yelena Belova, Dominic Fortune and Retcon.  Dom appears at the end of part 4 and the team is introduced in part 5. I’m guessing the Sable and Fortune agency didn’t work out.

The murdered man was codenamed Colonel America and was an attempt to create a telepathic supersoldier after Captain America. Turns out the Colonel is so powerful he has controlled his aging and the whole thing was done to prevent the fact that there was a clandestine team of super powered individuals. 

That idea might fly in a story set in the real world but in the Marvel Universe, where the Avengers and the Fantastic Four are running around, this simply doesn't work.  It’s like saying that the US has a covert team of special forces soldiers, I’d be more shocked if they didn’t.

And given the eight pages given to the story in each issue, not much happens. And aside from Dom rescuing the detective in parts 4 and 5 (shown from different perspectives) he doesn’t do much.

There is a nice bit were people keep calling Blade Wesley, but I can’t recommend this story.

It just feels like nobody knew what to do with Dom 3 and he was on a list of characters Guggenheim could use.