By Jason Juniewicz
Pirates are huge right now, but leave it to Marvel to be ahead of the game. Marvel even thought pirates were cool even back in the '60s when Stan the Man was writing Fantastic Four. So as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End sails into theaters we take a look back at some of Marvel's most notorious swashbucklers and bucaneers. You may even be surprised even who has changed history by looking for pirate treasure.
The Thing was indeed Blackbeard the Pirate
Way back in Fantastic Four #5, Marvel's First Family stumbled across a shocking revelation. In Dr. Doom's first appearance, he captures the Invisible Girl and forces the FF to travel back through time and retrieve Blackbeard's treasure chest. They arrive and immediately disguise themselves as pirates. As they sit in a tavern and try to figure out how to find Blackbeard, they're drugged and taken onboard a ship.
When they awake, the Thing is one unhappy camper and begins to kick the stuffing out of the entire crew. Just as the FF gets started, another ship attacks them. They assume it must be Blackbeard, so they board the ship, setting off a brutal battle on the high seas. When the fight is over, the crew starts cheering for Blackbeard. Only the man they are cheering for is the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing. Reed figures out that it must have been Ben's destiny to come back through time and become Blackbeard. The FF then find the fabled treasure chest and decide they mustn't give the jewels inside to Doom.
Instead, they fill it with chains in order to trick Doom. Thing decides he wants to stay and orders the crew to leave the rest of the FF in a lifeboat. Unfortunately, a massive storm hits and they are all washed ashore. Thing apologizes just as Doom brings them back to the present. But the joke's on Vic, who's still jewel-less in the end.
Four Adventurers Set Sail and are Changed Forever
Spinning off of Neil Gaiman's landmark 1602, 1602: FANTASTICK FOUR sees Sir Richard Reed, Captain Benjamin Grimm, Susan Storm and Johnathan Storm set sail aboard the ship The Fantastick and come into contact with a curtain of light in the Sargasso Sea (which turned out to be from an instability in their universe), gaining amazing powers. Count Otto von Doom captures the intrepid voyagers, holding them prisoner with special cells designed to prevent them from using their powers. During an attack from Carlos Javier, Grimm manages to get enough room to rattle castle von Doom enough to let Susan Storm escape and free the rest of the Fantastick. They then continue their adventures on the high seas with some appearances from some famous faces, including one William Shakespeare.
The Dread Pirate Bluetail and Captain Eagle
It's no secret that Nightcrawler is a fan of high adventure. And what better high adventure awaits then on the Seven Seas? In ULTIMATE X-MEN #50, we see Nightcrawler and his friend and teammate Angel sneak away into the Danger Room to run one of their favorite programs. Instead of Nightcrawler and Angel training for their next battle, we see the Dread Pirate Bluetail trying to save some "venches" from the clutches of Captain Eagle.
Corsair and the Starjammers
When Air Force pilot Christopher Summers' plane was going to crash with his family aboard, he decided to give the last parachute to his children Alex and Scott. Just as the plane was about to slam into the ground, he was beamed with his wife aboard a Shi'ar ship on a zoological mission. When brought before the mad emperor D'Ken, Christopher was sent to the slave pits and his wife was kept to serve the emperor.
But Christopher escaped the slave pits, making a vain attempt to save his wife and kill the emperor. He failed, and before he was sent back to the slave pits, his wife was killed in front of him as punishment. On his way to being taken back to the slave pits he met a group of aliens that included Ch'od, Raza and Hepzibah. Summers escaped with the aliens and stole a space-faring ship.
With a new life ahead of him, Christopher adopted the name Corsair--his nickname in the Air Force--and the group became the Starjammers. Known as pirates to most of the galaxy, the Starjammers have had many adventures, most often crossing paths with the X-Men.
Marvel Illustrated: Treasure Island
Marvel's new Illustrated line could be the most famous pirate story of them all. Following the adventures of Jim Hawkins, TREASURE ISLAND touches on Jim's role in protecting the treasure hidden by his father and the pirate Billy Bones. Young Hawkins must keep safe the treasure form Billy Bones' crew of scurvy scoundrels, including the legendary Long John Silver.
What's your favorite Marvel pirate tale? Sound off in the forums!