Librarians in Comic Books... Vera Cantor!
From: Marvel Holiday Special (1994)
Tags: librarians comic books vera cantor x-men beast iceman
Added: 8 months ago
[the first panel shows a closeup of waitress Zelda Kurtzberg, as she smiles and speaks to her two male friends (both off panel)]
ZELDA: Hey there, Romeos! All set for tonight? Dining, dancing ... a real wingding of a holiday double-date! My shift'll be over in a few minutes, and Vera just called to say she's on her way as soon as the library closes.
[the second panel shows the X-Men Iceman and Beast (in their civilian identities of Bobby Drake and Henry McCoy, respectively) sitting in the coffee shop as Zelda leaves, looking worried]
BOBBY: Sigh, can't tell the girls we're broke, Hank. So skint we can barely afford a walk in the park and a bag of hot chestnuts ... let alone Christmas presents for them.
HANK: We'll ratiocinate something, Bobby. Perhaps a small loan from Warren?
[the third panel shows Bobby pouring sugar into his coffee, as Hank turns to look at something off camera]
BOBBY: No can do, big guy. Warren's not lending us two beans till we pay a little back ... How do you think we bought tickets to that off-off-Broadway show Vera wanted to see last month?
HANK: Truly a sticky quandry, I fear. But there must be a solu--
[the fourth panel shows librarian Vera Cantor (short brown hair, glasses, pink dress) running into the coffee shop in a panic]
HANK: Vera! You look flushed ... panicked!
VERA: And with good reason! There's some sort of monster out there ... and he's threatening to burn down the city!
[the fifth panel shows Bobby and Hank getting up and putting on their jackets, as Zelda re-enters the scene]
HANK: Bobby! We'd better ... Er, I mean, I'll, ah, alert the constabulary!
VERA: Hank ... ?
BOBBY: And I'll, um, see what I can do to help! Let's go!
[the sixth panel shows Zelda with a concerned look on her face as Bobby rushes off]
ZELDA: But Bobby ... what can you do against a monster?
BOBBY: Oh, I'll just point at him and freeze him in his tracks with my hidden mutant powers!
[the seventh panel shows Vera and Zelda staring at each other]
VERA: Ask a silly question ...
ZELDA: Definitely. Why do I get the feeling we've just been stood up ... again?
Real Name: Vera Cantor
Occupation: School teacher; (formerly) book store owner; librarian
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Angel (Worthington), Beast, Bernard the Poet, Luke Cage, Captain America (Walker), Rusty Collins, Cyclops, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Dolly Donahue, Linda Donaldson, Gargoyle, Hawkeye, Hellcat, Cameron Hodge, Iceman, Artie Maddicks, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Norton and Edna McCoy, Mimic, Mister Fantastic, Nighthawk, Scarlet Witch, Silver Surfer, Son of Satan, Candy Southern, Spider-Man (Parker), Sub-Mariner, Thor, Trish Tilby, Valkyrie (Brunnhilde), Vision, Wonder Man, Zelda
Enemies: Bulk, Enchantress, Glow Worm, Grotesk, Hulk (Banner), Infectia, Juggernaut, Maha Yogi, Mesmero, Professor Power, Satan's Saints, the Skrull and the Resurrection Stone, Tower
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: None known
Base of Operations: New York City, New York
First Appearance: X-Men I#19 (April, 1966)
History: Little is known about Vera's early history.
(X-Men I#19 (fb)) - Vera Cantor worked part-time at a public library in New York City. She helped Calvin Rankin (who she didn't know was the Mimic) find some books on Mine Engineering, and he began asking her out, but Vera was put off by his hot-temperedness. Vera's friend, and later roommate, Zelda, set her up on a blind date with Hank McCoy (who she didn't know was the Beast), while Zelda would date Bobby Drake (who she didn't know was Iceman).
(Marvel Comics Presents I#59 (fb)) - Vera did her best to put up with the persistent Calvin, who heard about her scheduled date with Hank.
(X-Men I#19) - At work before her blind date, Vera pointed out to library patron Hank McCoy that he was looking at books for pre-school age children, and he grew sarcastic with her in return. When Zelda arrived, she introduced the two of them as the other's date, causing Hank to blush in embarrassment. As the foursome walked outside, Vera noticed Calvin Rankin approaching, and warned the others. Calvin chided Vera, causing Hank to intervene and the two of them engaged in an agile brawl across the sidewalk. Vera was embarrassed, but didn't seem to notice either's superpowers. Soon, an angry mob chased Calvin away.
(X-Men I#22) - Meeting Hank, Bobby, and Zelda for another double date, Vera headed to Greenwich Village when she got off work. She watched Hank flirt with a man named Waldo that he mistook for Vera (who had the same haircut she did), and made him blush when he noticed her. The four of them headed off to see the movie "Thunderball." When she asked Hank about his schooling, he avoided answering. After the movie, they headed back to the girls' apartment for some snacks. Vera complimented Hank on his good taste. When news on the radio of the X-Men came on, Hank rushed out, annoying Vera. Hank left Bobby behind to explain.
(X-Men I#24 - BTS) - Hank had a date with Vera scheduled that his X-Men duties conflicted with, so he missed it.
(X-Men I#27) - To make up for their abrupt absence last time, Hank and Bobby took Vera and Zelda out for a bite to eat. Vera pushed Hank to reveal what had happened, but he evaded answering. When a bank robbery took place across the street, Vera and Zelda rushed off to see the action. After Spider-Man stopped the crooks, the girls returned to the restaurant to find Hank and Bobby missing once again.
(X-Men I#31) - Bobby called Vera and Zelda and set up a double date again, and the girls agreed to meet them at the Coffee A Go-Go. At the restaurant, the group listened to Bernard the poet perform, then Vera watched as Bernard joined them, flirting with Zelda, though Bernard quickly left when his coffee became inexplicably frozen. On the dance floor, Vera was impressed by how natural Hank could dance "the Monkey." Hank soon excused himself and rushed off, leaving Vera by herself once again.
(X-Men I#32) - Vera attended a surprise party for Bobby's birthday at the Coffee A Go-Go, with Zelda, Bernard, Bobby, Hank, Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Warren Worthington, and Candy Southern. When Vera asked Hank to dance, he said he was too clumsy. When a motorcycle gang called Satan's Saints burst on the scene to make trouble, Vera was impressed when Hank and his friends were able to stop them through a series of antics. Hank later walked Vera home.
(X-Men I#41) - Vera and Hank were on a double date with Bobby and Zelda when the villain Grotesk attacked their subway car, and their boyfriends had to abandon them to deal with the crisis.
(X-Men I#47) - Vera and Hank went on another double date with Bobby and Zelda to see a live performance of the mentalist Maha Yogi. When they found that the show was sold out, they went to Cafe A-Go-Go to wait and see if there would be cancellations, and listened to a new poet nicknamed "Fat Man" by the crowds. Returning to the theatre, they were able to get seats, but Hank and Bobby recognized Maha Yogi as an X-Men enemy and fought him (without the girls' knowing). After his defeat, they tried to make amends with the girls by offering a night at the Copa nightclub, but didn't have enough money, and had to settle for a Greenwich Village diner instead.
(Marvel Holiday Special 1994 (fb)) - Vera got off her shift at the library and ran to the Coffee A-Go-Go to meet Zelda, Bobby, and Hank for a double date. She told them of a monster (see Metoxo) attacking the streets, and the boys rushed off with an excuse of being mutants and wanting to stop the monster. The girls scoffed at the boys, and got stood up again.
(X-Men: The Hidden Years#2) - Vera was awakened by Zelda and Bobby Drake arguing. She watched as Bobby entered a seeming trance and ran from the apartment. Vera wondered where Hank was.
(Incredible Hulk II#161 (fb)) - Vera and Mimic became romantically interested in each other and vacationed together in a cabin in Canada. When Mimic's powers started acting up, he began draining the life force of humans around him. Mimic and Vera realized that the whole planet could be in danger unless they got help. She ran off to find Hank McCoy, hoping that his scientific prowess would help things. She knew she wouldn't be able to tell Hank why she needed his help, because he may grow jealous of her relationship with Mimic.
(Amazing Adventures I#13) - Vera Cantor arrived at the Brand Corporation to ask Hank McCoy for help. She waited outside his apartment, and grew worried when she saw Patsy Walker leaving his residence.
(Amazing Adventures I#14) - Vera watched Hank's apartment until he returned home, then as Linda Donaldson went up and came back down. She rushed to his door and rang the doorbell, but he'd already left via the window.
(Amazing Adventures I#15) - After several failed attempts to reach Hank, Vera was shocked to run into him at the library.
(Amazing Adventures I#16) - After reuniting with Hank finally, Vera asked the Beast to come north with her to Canada on a dire emergency for which she needed a bio-chemist. She refused to tell him anymore. On the trip north, they hitched a ride and stopped in Rutland, Vermont. The Juggernaut attacked and Vera went to search for a missing girl while the Beast battled (she still did not know Hank was a mutant; Hank hid his new fur under a mask and costume).
(Incredible Hulk II#161) - Hank (still in disguise) and Vera (in a blonde wig) drove to Canada, though Vera still wouldn't tell Hank why, only that the fate of the world depended on it. Hank gave Vera a gentle nerve pinch to put her to sleep, then removed his costume and used his Beast powers to get her into Canada more quickly. When she awoke, he wasn't in disguise, and she wasn't angry at what he'd done as she knew he must have had need. Vera led Hank to the log cabin where Mimic waited. She explained the emergency just before the Hulk smashed into the cabin. A flying piece of debris knocked Vera unconscious. When she awoke, the Hulk was gone and Mimic was seemingly dead.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#59 (fb)) - Vera left Calvin behind in Canada, under the assumption that he was deceased.
(Avengers I#209 (fb)) - After some months, Vera ran into Hank at a club in Soho and they decided to rekindle their romance. It was apparently at this point that Vera discovered Hank's mutant nature and blue fur.
(Avengers I#209) - Vera went to Avengers Mansion to see the Beast and met Wonder Man, the Vision, and the Scarlet Witch. When "Jarvis" came into the room, she drank some tea he offered and it killed her immediately. "Jarvis" turned out to be a Skrull who was trying to blackmail the Avengers into seeking the Resurrection Stone for him. After a long quest, during which Vera was held by the Skrull, the Beast retrieved the Resurrection Stone, but rather than give it to the Skrull or use its corrupting power to save Vera, Beast destroyed it. Later Reed Richards examined Vera and discovered that she was not dead but that she had entered a state of non-life. He put her in suspended animation in the hopes that a cure could someday be found.
(Defenders I#105) - Hank sought out the help of Doctor Strange and Mister Fantastic to restore Vera to life. After the three engaged in battle inside the Resurrection Stone, Daimon Hellstrom used his powers to cure Vera. She remembered nothing of the ordeal and was very disoriented.
(Defenders I#106) - Hank kissed Vera goodbye as he left to help the Defenders on a mission.
(Defenders I#107) - When the Defenders returned from battle and Nighthawk and Valkyrie were seemingly slain, Vera helped console Hank. The Defenders engaged in a deep discussion about the afterlife with Vera present. She later attended the funeral service alongside the Defenders (Hellstrom, Dr. Strange, Gargoyle, Hellcat, and Beast), Daredevil, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Luke Cage, Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer, and the Hulk. Later, at a séance to contact Valkyrie's spirit, the Enchantress contacted the Defenders with Vera present.
(Defenders I#108-109) - Vera Cantor and Dolly Donahue discussed how strange their lives had become since they'd been affiliated with the Defenders, and yet how normal the Defenders seemed to them. When the team returned from their mission in Asgard with a resurrected Valkyrie, Vera convinced Hank to spend some time with her. After they offered comfort to Hellcat, they headed out to dinner together.
(Defenders I#112) - Vera and Hank attended a party at Nighthawk's brownstone with Gargoyle, Dolly Donahue, Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, Vision, and the Scarlet Witch. When the heroes learned that Dr. Strange had gone missing, Vera rationally pointed out that they couldn't search for Strange interdimensionally with any ease. An astral projection of Strange appeared and teleported all the heroes away, leaving Vera and Dolly alone again.
(Defenders I#116) - The Beast (back from the other dimension) suggested that the team go out, and Vera sternly reminded him that they needed time alone together and she dragged him off. They went out to eat and Vera chastised Hank for being so aloof and unserious all the time. When he flirted with other girls, she walked away, but stopped when he came after her. Hank let down his barriers and tried to explain why he acted the way he did. Vera told Hank she would always be there for him, and they kissed.
(Marvel Team-Up I#124) - Vera Cantor greeted Beast's parents, Norton and Edna McCoy, at the airport with Hank. Vera was embarrassed by Hank's nervous antics at the airport. They all went out for Indian food, where Edna grew emotional about the Beast's new form. When Professor Power attacked, he almost killed the Beast, but Edna pleaded for her son's life and Power spared him and flew away. Vera gave Hank a huge hug.
(Defenders I#122) - When Beast stood Vera up for a date, she went out to dinner with some friends. At the restaurant, she found Hank there with Gargoyle, Iceman, Dolly Donahue, and Overmind eating, and discovered he'd forgotten their date completely. Vera stormed away, saying Hank could forget about her, and he didn't try to follow.
((New) Defenders I#140) - Vera received flowers and a poem from Hank, and found out that he'd moved to New Mexico without telling her. She was torn between her feelings of love and anger for Hank.
((New) Defenders I#149) - Hank met Vera for an early lunch. She was frustrated with him being so un-serious when they were together, and never available any other time. He told Vera he loved her, gave her a 'Beast signal watch' as a gift, then rushed off to join the Defenders, leaving Vera with a tear on her cheek.
(X-Factor I#2 (fb)) - Vera enrolled in some classes at Columbia and got caught up in the Bohemian movement, particularly enjoying Elvis Costello. She moved to New York's East Village, shaved half her head, and began expressing herself more freely. She opened her own bookstore, specializing in left-wing music and South American literature.
(X-Factor I#2) - When Hank and Bobby came over to visit, they were shocked by Vera's new appearance. Vera told them about her life and promised them a discount at the store. When the mutant Tower attacked inside Vera's apartment, he quickly knocked the Beast unconscious and ran off. Bobby stayed to protect Vera. Soon, Scott, Jean, and Warren arrived, and were unable to find any leads on Hank's whereabouts.
(X-Factor I#3) - After hours of waiting at X-Factor headquarters for the team to return with news of Hank, Vera asked Cameron Hodge if he knew anything, but he didn't. Later, Hank returned bandaged from head to toe. When the bandages were unwrapped, they were all shocked to see him in human form again.
(X-Factor I#5) - Vera went clothes shopping with Hank and Bobby at a trendy Soho fashion shop. She chided Hank while he tried on new styling clothes, then complimented him. When the X-Factor alarm went off, Hank and Bobby rushed away, leaving Vera to pay for the clothes.
(X-Factor I#7) - Outside X-Factor headquarters, Vera was being interviewed about mutants by reporter Trish Tilby. Vera purposefully played an airhead, saying how sexy mutants were. Suddenly, Hank grabbed her and took her inside with Cameron Hodge. When Glow Worm and Bulk attacked, the members of X-Factor struggled with how to intervene without revealing their mutant nature. Vera helped them talk it out, and later disguised herself as a member of X-Factor (along with Rusty Collins and Cameron Hodge) to help the team maintain their secret.
(X-Factor I#8) - With members of the team and Artie Maddicks, Vera and Hank watched the news, which included footage from the attack and Trish Tilby's interview with Vera.
(X-Factor I#55 (fb)) - Vera became a school teacher and changed her look drastically. She heard about Hank's new relationship with reporter Trish Tilby. Meanwhile, Infectia hired Mesmero to kidnap and hypnotize Vera in a scheme against Hank.
(X-Factor I#55) - A hypnotized Vera ran into Hank downtown. She was wearing leather and smoking, and claimed she had no memory of him. Later, in professional clothes and carrying a cello case, she ran into him again. She ran and dropped the case, which exploded by Hank. Seconds later, Vera was wearing still different clothing and selling hot dogs. Aggravated, Hank pursued her into the subway, where Mesmero revealed himself. Finally freed from the hypnosis during their battle, Vera leapt on Mesmero to help stop him. Mesmero soon retreated. Hank and Vera talked briefly and he walked her home.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jay Gavin, and Dick Ayers.
Marvel Holiday Special #1994
released by Marvel on December 1, 1994.
This issue contains six stories.
"Catastrophe on 34th St." - While Beast and Iceman work out in the Danger room, they bemoan the lack of Christmas spirit they feel. The session is interrupted by a news report of a creature abducting street corner santas in New York City, and the two head to town. Beast and Iceman engage the fiery monster, who complains of a ruined Christmas. The two X-Men subdue the creature, then recognize him as Metoxo the Lava Man, whom they encountered during their early years as X-Men.
Many Decembers before, Metoxo, who dwelt miles below the surface, rampaged through the city because a vital steam shaft had been plugged by a human construction project. Beast and Iceman had calmed him down, explaining the deed was not malicious, just humans getting by. They also explained the concept of Christmas.
Now, Metoxo is frustrated by his children's disillusionment with the holiday. As a solution, Beast and Iceman visit Metoxo's family, playing Santa and an elf, and bring presents and joy to them, rediscovering their own Christmas spirit in the process.
Characters: Beast, Iceman, Metoxo, Vera Cantor, Zelda Kurtzberg