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Fastball Special

Dark Reign The List - X-Men Vol 1 1 page 14 Fastball special (Earth-616)

The fastball special is probably the most famous tag-team move in superhero fiction where a super-strong hero literally throws a willing partner toward a target. The maneuver first appeared in X-Men #100, when Wolverine had Colossus hurl him in a battle. It quickly became a favorite tactic of the two heroes. It has also been used by many superheroes, some from companies other than Marvel, since.

When executing the fastball special, Colossus—a large and very strong mutant—takes the much smaller Wolverine into his hands and hurls him forward, like a baseball pitcher would throw a fastball. As Colossus is one of the strongest mortal characters in Marvel Comics, this throw can be superhumanly far, on one occasion even having Wolverine reaching an aircraft in-flight. As a result, Wolverine can reach the target of an attack he may not be able to reach otherwise and do it much faster than he would if he ran there by himself. Furthermore, Wolverine's metal-laced skeleton and his healing factor means that he is typically not in major danger of being severely injured in the move.

The fastball special was also reversed once, when Wolverine took advantage of the moon's reduced gravity to throw Colossus at Phoenix.[1]

The fastball move was revisited in a scene from the comic book series Astonishing X-Men written by Joss Whedon and drawn by John Cassaday. In the story, Colossus, who was believed to be deceased at the time, had just been discovered and released from imprisonment, and one of those responsible was escaping in an aircraft. Wolverine asked Colossus if he was capable of physical effort after his long imprisonment, and when Colossus replied that he was, Wolverine said, "I have two words for you." The next frame, a full two-page spread, showed Wolverine in mid-air and Colossus far below in a "follow-through" position, obviously having just launched his teammate; no dialogue was used in this frame, the picture speaking for itself to readers familiar with the maneuver.

A new way of employing this move was seen in Avengers vs. X-Men #2, when Magneto used his magnetism powers to hurl Colossus at a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, called a "magnetic fastball special".

Variations

Comics:

  • In the great majority of the cases, Colossus hurls Wolverine. However, there has been also one case in X-Men #137 (last part of the Dark Phoenix Saga) where the X-Men were on the Moon and Wolverine threw Colossus, making use of the moon's weaker gravity. Other variations include Colossus being thrown by Rogue and Colossus throwing Shadowcat.
  • Another scene involving Wolverine throwing Colossus occurred in an issue of Wolverine, in which Wolverine is (temporarily) killed and meets up with Colossus in the afterlife, where the duo are attacked by slain villains. Wolverine then promptly picks Colossus up; the confused Colossus asks, "Didn't this used to go the other way around?", to which Wolverine replies "Haven't you learned to improvise since you died?" before hurling Colossus at the angry mob.
  • Shatterstar has been hurled by Warpath, when they were in X-Force together.
  • Another notable fastball special featured Shadowcat and Spider-Man in a Marvel Team-Up special, where Kitty's phased molecules made her fly weightlessly through the air, whereupon she solidified herself and landed with full impact against her target, a rogue Morlock who was attacking surface-dwelling humans.
  • During the first fight of the X-Men after Operation: Zero Tolerance which included the new members Cecilia Reyes, Maggott and Marrow, a fastball special was performed by Marrow and Maggott, with Maggott throwing Marrow against an enemy in the same manner as Wolverine and Colossus.
  • In the alternate Age of Apocalypse storyline, the move (with name) had been adopted instead by the X-Ternals, with Guido in place of Colossus and Jubilee in place of Wolverine.
  • When Nightcrawler, Colossus and Shadowcat returned to the X-Men after the disbanding of Excalibur, Rogue performed what she would later call the Deathstar Drop, as an homage to the fastball special. It basically involved a flying Rogue throwing Nightcrawler.
  • In Marvel Team-Up Vol 3 #6, Spider-Man throws X-23 into the equipment of an alternate Tony Stark. Spider-Man jokingly wonders whether the X-Men have trademarked the fastball special, to which X-23 responds that it will be "our little secret".
  • The move was recently spoofed in the Great Lakes Avengers Special #1 as the Fuzzball Special, in which Squirrel Girl hurled her current squirrel companion, 'Tippy Toe', at M.O.D.O.K., causing him to cry 'Not in the face!'. They also have a defensive version of the Fastball Special, shown in Deadpool #10, where Flatman throws Doorman over a hostage (actually, over Blind Al), in theory to teleport the target into safety.
  • In New Avengers Annual #1, Ms. Marvel performs what she calls the "Avengers-style" version of the move with Wolverine.
  • Black Panther and Thing perform their version of it in Black Panther Vol 4 #32.
  • The move has yet to be carried out in Ultimate X-Men aside from cover art, although Colossus mentions having thought up the move in the Return of the King arc. However, in Ultimate Spider-Man, the X-Men made a special appearance alongside Spider-Man, Shadowcat's boyfriend, when both parties were kidnapped by Deadpool and the Reavers. During the battle, Colossus threw Shadowcat at one of their antagonizers, completing the move. She stayed intangible the whole way, phasing through the cyborg and thereby shorting it out.
    • This variation was performed in X-Men: Gold Vol 2 #5, with Kitty being thrown through a Sentinel while intangible, with similar results.
  • In X-Men: To Serve and Protect, Rockslide performed the move with Anole, with the move being called out by name. Unfortunately Rockslide did it without consulting his partner first, leaving the latter extremely irritated with him.
  • In Champions Vol 2 #8, a time-displaced Cyclops sent a curled Hulk flying through the air by hitting him with his optic blasts. He wanted to call the maneuver "The Fastball Special," unaware of the original. Even after being informed of the original, Cyclops continued to call this tactic the Fastball Special. They once included Hercules in on this move, where both Hercules and Hulk were shot into the air by Cyclops.[2]
  • In Despicable Deadpool #297, Deadpool shouted "Fastball Special!" when he threw his gun at someone.
  • In Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans #1, the regular version was done followed by a showcase of the Allez-Oop Variation. This version involved a midair Wolverine being thrown by Nightcrawler, who teleported to him and the spun him in a circle.

In other media:

  • In the X-Men Legends series of games, any character with the Might skill—Rogue, Beast, Juggernaut and Colossus—or a Might skill used in a special form—Emma Frost and Magma—can perform the Fastball Special by pushing the Throw button next to Wolverine.
    • This maneuver was carried over to the series' spin-off Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, where the Fastball Special can be performed by the Thing, Colossus, the Hulk, Luke Cage or Captain America. Also, aside from Wolverine, Mr. Fantastic can be thrown too, but only when using his "Pinball" ability (in which Reed curls himself up into a ball).
  • In the first X-Men, there is a variant of the move where Jean Grey and Storm cooperate using their powers to throw Wolverine to Magneto's machine in the torch hand of the Statue of Liberty.
  • In the film X-Men: The Last Stand the move is used twice - when Colossus hurls Wolverine at a Sentinel in a Danger Room sequence and, later, at Magneto. In this incarnation, the fastball special is executed rather like a hammer throw, with Colossus whirling Wolverine around first like a hammer before releasing him.
  • In one episode of the animated series, when the X-Men are attacked by a group of mutants on the back of pterodactyl-like creatures, Wolverine says to Beast "Fix me up a Fastball Special!", whereupon the latter throws him up in the air to take out one of the riders.
  • In Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, the move exists alongside a variation, used by Juggernaut and Sabertooth, called the Screwball Special.
  • In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., throughout the series, the Hulks use a their own variation, used by anyone of them who throws A-Bomb, which they called the Smashball Special.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man (Animated Series), another variation of this move used by Rhino who begins his signature charge followed by Agent Venom using his webs to throw him, called the Hornball Special.
  • Actually, the Power Puff Girls did this once, even mentioning it by name, in the episode Film Flam.


(See Also: Fastball Special at TV Tropes)
  1. X-Men #137
  2. Avengers #672

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Fifth Column

According to Wikipedia a Fifth Column or Fifth Columnist is an individual or a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within. The term was coined by radio announcer Emilio Mola in 1936.

In the Marvel Universe it's usually a blanket term for groups that attacked America and other Allied countries during World War II, and later during the Cold War, to identify groups from Communist countries trying to undermine Democratic countries.

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First Host

One of four tests of a given race that has been altered by the enigmatic Celestials. During the First Host, the Celestials select the dominant race of a given planet and alter their genetic structure for reasons that have not yet been revealed. The Celestials use their advanced technology to alter the race into three distinct races: The mainline race that shows normal attributes until evolution and an outside catalyst creates mutation, granting individuals of the mainline race a wide array of varying abilities. A superior race dubbed Eternals who are typically empowered with cosmic energy, and a genetically unstable race dubbed Deviants. The Celestials have practiced these tests on various races such as Humans, Kree and Skrulls.

On Earth-30826, it was the First Contact, performed by the Eternals (servants of the Celestials) by abducting Homo erectus to create Deviants.[1]

(See Also: Second Host, Third Host, Fourth Host)
  1. The Eternal #1

[top] [Edit First Host]


Force Field

Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol 1 55 Textless

Originally a term coined by Michael Faraday to provide an intuitive paradigm, but theoretical construct (in the Kuhnian sense), for the behavior of electromagnetic fields, the term force field refers to the lines of force one object (the "source object") exerts on another object or a collection of other objects. An object might be a mass particle or an electric or magnetic charge, for example. The lines do not have to be straight, in the Euclidean geometry case, but may be curved. Faraday called these theoretical connections between objects lines of force because the objects are most directly connected to the source object along this line.

A conservative force field is a special kind of vector field that can be represented as the gradient of a potential.

Note that a force field does not exist in reality, per se, but it is really a Kuhnian construct that allows scientists to visualize the effects of objects on other objects; in other words, it makes the math easy.

In science fiction and fantasy literature, a force field or protective shield is a barrier made up of energy to protect a person, area or object from attacks or intrusions. The idea may be based partly on the concept of a vector field, though in character it resembles the "warding spells," the defensive magic claimed to be used by the Druids and shamans of the ancient world.

Marvel Characters with Force Fields

For a list of characters who can create force fields, see Category:Force Field

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Fourth Host

Thor Vol 1 300 024

The fourth of four test of a given race that has been altered by the enigmatic Celestials wherein they pass judgement on the races that they have created. In the case of the Earth, the various godheads that live in dimensional realms that have access to Earth (Such as the Asgardians and Olympians) successfully convinced the Celestials of the merits of the human race by producing to them the Young Gods. The Celestials left Earth satisfied, erasing humanities memories of the Celestials for some time.

(See Also: First Host, Second Host, Third Host)
[top] [Edit Fourth Host]


Fourth wall

Fourth wall

The fourth wall is the imaginary wall at the front of the stage in a proscenium theater, the term stems from the absence of a fourth wall on a three-walled set where the audience is viewing the production, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play. The meaning of the term "fourth wall" has been adapted to refer to the boundary between the fiction and the audience. "Fourth wall" is part of the suspension of disbelief between a fictional work and an audience, an invisible barrier between realities.

"Breaking the fourth wall" in general refers when a character is showing his/her awareness of the audience, ignoring the barrier between realities to directly interact with them. Generally this is done for comedic effect. The level of fourth wall breaking varies between characters and writers, with some merely having knowledge from our reality that a fictional character wouldn't/couldn't know (referring to Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man) through to attempting to influence the story by pleas to the writer and/or artist (like Deadpool trying to kill the creators of a comic he appeared in by travelling to their dimension).

Trivia

Deadpool is the most famous character in the Marvel universe to have broken this wall frequently over and over again. He can even see his own yellow speech balloons.

(See Also: Blonde Phantom, Gwenpool, She-Hulk, Loki)
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