I begin with my traditional spoiler space picture of someone who has nothing to do with the topic at hand:

Alan Hale Sr. & Jr. (To quote Russell Johnson: "At one point, the two men looked almost exactly alike."

Issue #1 covers from the beginning of time to the birth of one James Howlett. Random thoughts:

  1. The art is tolerable, but not great. I would've put a better art team on a book like this, myself.
  2. The storyline is, essentially, Galactus and Franklin Richards sitting around at the end of time, shooting the breeze while waiting for the universe to end. Apparently, Galactus' energies will be the seed to create the next universe, which Franklin will survive into. (Is he going to become the next universe's "Galactus"? Anyway, Franklin asks Galactus to narrate the history of the universe to him, so he'll remeber it all in the next iteration of reality.
  3. The problem with this set-up is that it tends to go all over the place.  One minute they're talking about cosmic stuff, the next minute fairly mundane stuff.  Why would Galactus know or care about Sir Percy of Scandia or the Two-Gun Kid?
  4. Marvel cosmology is littered with "cosmic" characters, the vast majority or whom are not even infinitesimally interesting.
  5. The annotations at the back would be interesting, I suppose, if you were the sort of Hardcore Fanatical Completist who owns copies of every comic Marvel ever published and might therefore be liable to go look them up.

Next Time: Captain America! The Human Torch! Bucky! The Red Skull! Marvel Girl! Iron fist! Doctor Strange! Namora! Mystique?

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I flipped through a couple of issues while visiting my old comic book store (one of the few that doesn't have everything bagged on the rack). Missed a lot of details obviously, like the misspelling of Sin-Cong (I understood it was indeed Sin-Cong).

As Englehart once put it, the Watcher's philosophy is "I never interfere ... but okay, this one time, I will!" Rinse and repeat.

God, I hated Original Sin (what little I read of it) and the whole Man on the Wall concept.

Dan Ketch and Johnny being brothers was established back in the 1990s. Their mom made her own deal with Mephisto to save Johnny from the ancestral Ghost Rider curse, unaware that a)it would fall on his younger brother (she gave them both up for reasons I now forget) and b)years later Mephisto would be able to stick Johnny with a different Ghost Rider curse. The backstory got much more complicated than that by the time they were done (and then came the "Ghost Riders are really angels" reboot)

Which was the case with the Sentry too. A clever one-shot in the original miniseries, but once Bendis brought him into regular continuity he just seemed to trigger retcon after retcon.

Marvel does have an increasing number of immortals, doesn't it? Somehow they've never interested me the way DC's crop (Immortal Man, Vandal Savage, Resurrection Man, Jason Blood, the Wandering Jew and several others) did. Probably because it's mostly tacked on, like Namor having wandered around for decades as a Bowery drunk. Bloodstone being an obvious exception.

With groups like the First Line, Blue Marvel and the Monster Hunters, Marvel's done a good job filling the long gap between the Golden Age and the FF's flight. But yeah, making the Avengers a legacy team doesn't work for me. In general retconning characters into legacy heroes rarely works for me. Ditto having every evil conspiracy turn out to go back centuries (which happens in other media too, like the conspiracies in TV's Dark Angel and The Pretender).

I'm not sure whether it was explicit but they made it clear somewhere along the way that Mystique and Destiny were more than friends. But yes, more immortals.

One depressing part about the sliding time scale is that it Earth-616's comic books are completely different from ours. Either Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were writing in the 1960s about the First Line instead of the FF or they were actually born decades later (which I believe is the path they're taking) in which case Kirby's Golden Age work doesn't exist. I wrote about it as part of a series on comic-book companies in comic-book universes at Atomic Junkshop.

Spoiler space for issue #6 comes courtesy of the inimitable John Agar,

We see that Galactus is starting to lose it, so he finishes up his story in a hurry.  He brings us up to the present, then has brief flashes of what appear to be "near futures" - possibly teasers for upcoming storylines?   No mention of Arno Stark - shouldn't he be showing up soon? Then he goes into the various alternate futures, all of which seem to will have happened.  Marvel's never really had a "future" setting as well established and developed as DC's 30th/31st Century. 

We end with Galactus giving Franklin a pep talk and his hat, and sending him off to I guess be the Galactus of the next universe.

Wow, this was weak, It did not so much end as sputter out.

Overall, this series was nowhere remotely near as good as a "History of the Marvel Universe". It should have had first-class writing and art, and it had neither.

The current Hickman x-books are showing the MCU 100 years in the future. But I imagine this will no more take firm root than Marvel's 2099 books did.

The Baron said:

Spoiler space for issue #6 comes courtesy of the inimitable John Agar,

We see that Galactus is starting to lose it, so he finishes up his story in a hurry.  He brings us up to the present, then has brief flashes of what appear to be "near futures" - possibly teasers for upcoming storylines?   No mention of Arno Stark - shouldn't he be showing up soon? Then he goes into the various alternate futures, all of which seem to will have happened.  Marvel's never really had a "future" setting as well established and developed as DC's 30th/31st Century. 

We end with Galactus giving Franklin a pep talk and his hat, and sending him off to I guess be the Galactus of the next universe.

Wow, this was weak, It did not so much end as sputter out.

Overall, this series was nowhere remotely near as good as a "History of the Marvel Universe". It should have had first-class writing and art, and it had neither.

Re Sir Percy of Scandia and the Two-Gun Kid: initially Galactus monitored the light spectrum to locate edible planets via their communications. Later this evolved into his system for tracking the gradual disintegration of the galactic civilisations due to entropy. Then, as there started being less and less to do, he got more and more into the habit of just following it all like a zombie. And now, with the universe nearly at its end, he mostly spends his time watching 1950s American TV as it endlessly replays through space.

Evidently, on Marvel Earth, there was a Black Knight show, probably starring Guy Williams.

He probably watched a lot of Rawhide Kid movies in syndication too. I remember one of Marvel's Who's Who books focusing on the west had a complete list of the Kid's movie series (nice touch!).

Luke Blanchard said:

Re Sir Percy of Scandia and the Two-Gun Kid: initially Galactus monitored the light spectrum to locate edible planets via their communications. Later this evolved into his system for tracking the gradual disintegration of the galactic civilisations due to entropy. Then, as there started being less and less to do, he got more and more into the habit of just following it all like a zombie. And now, with the universe nearly at its end, he mostly spends his time watching 1950s American TV as it endlessly replays through space.

Evidently, on Marvel Earth, there was a Black Knight show, probably starring Guy Williams.

I hate when I screw up a sentence.  I meant to say "Overall, this series was nowhere remotely near as good as a "History of the Marvel Universe" should have been."

The Baron said:

Spoiler space for issue #6 comes courtesy of the inimitable John Agar,

We see that Galactus is starting to lose it, so he finishes up his story in a hurry.  He brings us up to the present, then has brief flashes of what appear to be "near futures" - possibly teasers for upcoming storylines?   No mention of Arno Stark - shouldn't he be showing up soon? Then he goes into the various alternate futures, all of which seem to will have happened.  Marvel's never really had a "future" setting as well established and developed as DC's 30th/31st Century. 

We end with Galactus giving Franklin a pep talk and his hat, and sending him off to I guess be the Galactus of the next universe.

Wow, this was weak, It did not so much end as sputter out.

Overall, this series was nowhere remotely near as good as a "History of the Marvel Universe". It should have had first-class writing and art, and it had neither.

In fairness, it's a very nice hat.

LOL



Captain Comics said:

In fairness, it's a very nice hat.

“No mention of Arno Stark - shouldn't he be showing up soon?”

As I understand it, he’s been around for the past couple of years (I haven’t read Iron Man regularly in a long time), but he’s not the same character as introduced in the Machine Man limited series. That one was Tony Stark’s cousin; the current continuity one is his hitherto unknown brother (or some such nonsense).

“Then he goes into the various alternate futures, all of which seem to will have happened.”

Interesting verb tense there. ;)

“Marvel's never really had a "future" setting as well established and developed as DC's 30th/31st Century.”

Agreed. And, as you indicate, many of these realities are self-contradictory.

“We end with Galactus giving Franklin a pep talk and his hat, and sending him off to I guess be the Galactus of the next universe.”

I prefer John Byrne’s (still sadly unfinished) “Last Galactus Story” in which Frankie Ray becomes the Galactus of the next universe.

“It should have had first-class writing and art, and it had neither.”

Regarding the writing, I think it is what it is. I am satisfied with it overall, particularly when it comes to summarizing the past five or so years of continuity (X-Men vs. Inhumans, Captain Hydra, HoX/PoX, etc.) so I don’t have to read them.

I definitely disagree with you regarding the art. The layouts, in particular, were inpressive.

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