True Believers (comics)

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True Believers

True believers cover.png

Cover of True Believers 1 (September 2008). Featuring Red Zone (left), Payback (center), Battalus (top right) and Head Trip (bottom right). Art by Paul Gulacy.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date September 2008 – January 2009
No. of issues 5
Main character(s) Payback
Red Zone
Creative team
Created by Cary Bates
Paul Gulacy
Written by Cary Bates
Artist(s) Paul Gulacy
Letterer(s) Dave Lanphear
Colorist(s) Rain Beredo
Editor(s) Thomas Brennan
Molly Lazer
Joe Quesada
Bill Rosemann
Lauren Sankovitch
Collected editions
True Believers ISBN   0-7851-2600-7

True Believers is an American comic book limited series from Marvel Comics, written by Cary Bates, with art by Paul Gulacy. [1] [2] [3]

An American comic book is a thin periodical, typically 32 pages, containing comics content. While the form originated in 1933, American comic books first gained popularity after the 1938 publication of Action Comics, which included the debut of the superhero Superman. This was followed by a superhero boom that lasted until the end of World War II. After the war, while superheroes were marginalized, the comic book industry rapidly expanded, and genres such as horror, crime, science fiction, and romance became popular. The 1950s saw a gradual decline, due to a shift away from print media in the wake of television and the impact of the Comics Code Authority. The late 1950s and the 1960s saw a superhero revival, and superheroes remain the dominant character archetype in the 21st century.

In the field of comic books, a limited series is a comics series with a predetermined number of issues. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is finite and determined before production, and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues. The term is often used interchangeably with miniseries (mini-series) and maxiseries (maxi-series), usually depending on the length and number of issues. In Dark Horse Comics' definition of a limited series, "This term primarily applies to a connected series of individual comic books. A limited series refers to a comic book series with a clear beginning, middle and end." Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics refer to limited series of two to eleven issues as miniseries and series of twelve issues or more as maxiseries, but other publishers alternate terms.

Marvel Comics company that publishes comic books and related media

Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company.


It is also the name of an obscure group of Spider-Man villains. [4]

Spider-Man Fictional Marvel superhero

Spider-Man is a fictional superhero created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 in the Silver Age of Comic Books. He appears in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, as well as in a number of movies, television shows, and video game adaptations set in the Marvel Universe. In the stories, Spider-Man is the alias of Peter Parker, an orphan raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben in New York City after his parents Richard and Mary Parker were killed in a plane crash. Lee and Ditko had the character deal with the struggles of adolescence and financial issues, and accompanied him with many supporting characters, such as J. Jonah Jameson, Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, romantic interests Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, and foes such as Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin and Venom. His origin story has him acquiring spider-related abilities after a bite from a radioactive spider; these include clinging to surfaces, shooting spider-webs from wrist-mounted devices, and detecting danger with his "spider-sense".

Publication history

The series launched as a five-part storyline on July 30, 2008.

Notable events of 2008 in comics. See also List of years in comics.


The four main team members are:

Registration Acts (comics)

The Registration Acts—the Mutant Registration Act (MRA), the Keene Act, the Superhuman Registration Act, the Sokovia Accords and the Vigilante Registration Act (VRA)—are fictional legislative bills that have been plot points used in various comic books and superhero films which, when passed into law, enforce the regulation of vigilante vs. criminal activity or the mandatory registration of superpowered individuals with the government. The issue that the government might seek to regulate the activities and civil rights of superheroes, or view them as valuable national security resource subject to conscription without notice in times of crisis, has also been explored in other comics, such as those featuring DC's Justice Society of America team, series like Watchmen, Astro City, and Powers; the films The Return of Captain Invincible (1983) and The Incredibles (2004); and in role-playing games Brave New World (1999), and Dawn of Legends for Savage Worlds.

Symbiote (comics) Fictional race in Marvel Comics

The Symbiotes are a fictional species of organic, amorphous, multicellular, extraterrestrial symbiotes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Klyntar bond with their hosts, creating a symbiotic bond through which a single entity is created. They also are able to slightly alter their hosts' personalities, by influencing their darkest desires and wants, along with amplifying their physical and emotional traits and personality, granting them super-human abilities.

Venom (Marvel Comics character) fictional character

Venom is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with Spider-Man. The character is a sentient alien Symbiote with an amorphous, liquid-like form, who survives by bonding with a host, usually human. This dual-life form receives enhanced powers and usually refers to itself as "Venom". The Symbiote was originally introduced as a living alien costume in The Amazing Spider-Man #252, with a full first appearance as Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man #300.


The series involves a team of new characters digging into the background goings-on in the Marvel Universe. The team is led by Payback, Mavis Trent, a S.H.I.E.L.D. data analyst.

Marvel Universe shared fictional universe of many comic books published by Marvel Comics

The Marvel Universe is a fictional universe where the stories in most American comic book titles and other media published by Marvel Comics take place. Super-teams such as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Defenders, the Inhumans and other Marvel superheroes live in this universe, including characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, Daredevil, Wolverine, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Blade, Ghost Rider, the Punisher, Deadpool, Silver Surfer and numerous others.

S.H.I.E.L.D. fictional intelligence agency in the Marvel Comics Universe

S.H.I.E.L.D. is a fictional espionage, special law enforcement, and counter-terrorism agency appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Strange Tales #135, it often deals with paranormal and superhuman threats.

Data analysis activity for gaining insight from data

Data analysis is a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making. Data analysis has multiple facets and approaches, encompassing diverse techniques under a variety of names, while being used in different business, science, and social science domains. In today's business, data analysis is playing a role in making decisions more scientific and helping the business achieve effective operation.

Though a mini-series, True Believers is unusual in that each issue contains a central plot that is resolved by the end. Issue 1 features the team ending an underground fight club. This club is run by rich and powerful men who pay to have women abducted, drugged and forced to fight one another.

The second issue deals with a conspiracy to frame Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, for driving under the influence of alcohol. This issue also sees Payback with Reynolds' psychiatrist Dr. Cornelius Worth discussing her feelings with her father.

Fantastic Four fictional superhero team

The Fantastic Four is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The group debuted in The Fantastic Four #1, which helped to usher in a new level of realism in the medium. The Fantastic Four was the first superhero team created by editor/co-plotter Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, who developed a collaborative approach to creating comics with this title that they would use from then on.

The third issue reveals the origin of Payback, and begins the search for the murderer of Payback's father.

The fourth gives the origins of Battalus and Red Zone, and further details of the murder of Payback's father.

The fifth reveals the truth behind the murder of Payback's father.


The first issue had estimated sales of 17,151 copies, placing it at number 132 in the sales chart. [5] Issue #2 dropped to an estimate of 12,838 (149th). [6]

True Believers has received mixed reviews. For instance, Broken Frontier was less impressed, feeling it didn't live up to expectations suggesting "it is rather disappointing given what one might have hoped for" and that the "tone established by the writing crosses over to the art as well: it shows some nice potential, but fails to realize it fully". However, they also feel that all hope isn't lost and if "Bates and Gulacy really put their minds to it and are willing to push the limits of what they can do with this concept, it just might turn into something very special indeed. Keep an eye out for future issues" [7] Comic Book Resources agrees and suggests that the story "is an original and timely concept, but the weak execution doesn't carry it well. Bates' craft seems to be a little rusty at best, and feels more than a little outdated at times" and that problems with the art partly come from script problems as "any artist would struggle to fit 15 panels on one page and still maintain a good flow." [8] Comics Bulletin is largely positive and concludes that "overall this issue presents an interesting if somewhat vague introduction to the characters" with the only downside being the colouring "Beredo does an estimable job but the technique seems so common that it fails to add anything". [9] They stop just shy of awarding full marks to the second issue, largely because the reviewer feels "a certain detachment from the principal character," but the minor niggles about the art in the first issue have been addressed and they declare that they are "prepared to ratchet up my praise for Rain Beredo's colours, too". [10] The online comic book reviewer for, Nicholas Yanes, is equally positive, writing that "this is a title that everyone should have on their pull list." [11]

Collected editions

The series will be collected into a trade paperback:

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