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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Jeff of Earth-J said:


Not sure what you're getting at. In what way?

I have a hazy memory of a story that involved the real Hank Pym being imprisoned by a duplicate who took on the Yellowjacket identity and married the Wasp.  But admittedly, I could be remembering it wrong.

From your description, I think you're referring to Avengers Annual 2001, but that's not the way I remember it. Admittedly, I don't remember it very well, but I don't think it invalidated Hank and Jan's marriage in any way... and if it did, I would classify that as a "Mopee." But this is the resolution to the sub-plot of Hank's personality literally being split in two.

Ah, yes that's it. I'll have to give it another look.

Ok, I read the story. Turns out my memory of it was completely wrong.  

Finally read #3.  Not so concerned about spoiler space this time out, but here's a picture of  my choice to play the Watcher:

"For corn's sake, Ethel, I'm forbidden to interfere!"

As noted above, this one covers from the origin of the Fantastic Four to the X-Men repairing the M'Krann Crystal, which apparently had some cosmic significance. I always thought they'd fixed to avoid paying for it.  Random Thoughts:

  1. Galactus says that all this took place in the Twenty-First Century, which makes sense, but still feels weird.
  2. While I note that some formerly "Soviet" characters are now described as "Russian",  Natasha is described as having been raised  in the USSR's " Black  Widow Program", which means she must be a bit  older than she looks.
  3. The story continues to be told in the same rambling, "Grandpa reminiscing about the old days" style.

Next:  Spider-Man! Ms. Marvel! Spider-Woman! Venom! Carnage! Deadpool! Nova! Iron Man! The She-Hulk!

Spoiler space for  issue #4 comes courtesy of Takashi  Shimura, who appeared in 21 Kurosawa films and three Godzilla movies.

This issue goes from the death of Phoenix to the battle with Onslaught.

Things that caught my attention:

  1. We're told that the reason Galactus knows about Kid Colt and Howard the Duck is because at some point he ate all the Watchers and digested their knowledge.  OK.
  2. Apparently, Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch are brothers, which was news to me.
  3. Jessica Drew was seven in 1931?  Also news to me.
  4. Also didn't know that Carol Danvers was half Kree.
  5. Professor X gathered the New Mutants because he was under the influence of a Brood Queen who wanted to use them as host for her offspring?  Obviously, there's a lot of Marvel continuity I don't know.

Overall:  More of the same, getting into my least favorite era of Marvel history.

Next: Hulk in a centurion's helmet! Wolverine! Jean Grey! Magneto! Storm! Cable! Cyclops! And...Electro?

Carol Danvers being half-Kree is relatively new.

However, in the original stories, Professor X was under the influence of a Brood egg and did indeed unknowingly form the New Mutants to be new hosts. His entire body was transformed into a Brood but the X-Men and Starjammers cloned him a new body with the ability to walk but he still couldn't because he was mentally still crippled. 

Of course, if everything from the origin of the Fantastic Four (1961) to the present day (2019) took place in the Twenty-First Century, then that would mean that the events of 59 years of comics took place in nineteen years of "Marvel Universe" time, which would mean that the events of 3-4 years of comics took place in one "Marvel Year".  Follows a rough approximation:

  • The comics of 1961-1964 took place in 2001.
  •  1965-67 = 2002
  • 1968-70 = 2003
  • 1971-73 = 2004
  • 1974-77 = 2005
  • 1978-80 = 2006
  • 1980-82 = 2007
  • 1983-85 = 2008
  • 1986-88 = 2009
  • 1989-91 = 2010
  • 1992-94 = 2011
  • 1995-98 = 2012
  • 1999-01 = 2013
  • 2002-04 = 2014
  • 2005-07 = 2015
  • 2008-10 = 2016
  • 2011-13 = 2017
  • 2014-16 = 2018
  • 2017-19 = 2019

Of course, if we go with all this having happened within the proverbial "last ten years" (in this case 2010-2019), then it becomes roughly six years of comics stories per "Marvel Year", like so:

  • 1961-66 = 2010
  • 1967-72 = 2011
  • 1973-78 = 2012
  • 1979-84 = 2013
  • 1985-90 = 2014
  • 1991-96 = 2015
  • 1997-02 = 2016
  • 2003-08 = 2017
  • 2009-14 = 2018
  • 2015-19 = 2019

I did a “the last ten years” spreadsheet once, but that was in 2005. (You may remember.) I then examined several key events from the MU starting with “How long had the Silver Surfer been imprisoned on Earth?” The problem with that approach is that the scale needs to be adjusted every so often, making the events more and more compressed. For example, on your scale, the Surfer was confined to Earth for a mere three years. What a wimp! Anyway, here’s what I took away from issue #4…

I like the cover. It has good composition and a nice central figure, but I would have preferred three characters (Deadpool, Venom, Carnage) be replaced by Moonknight, Captain Britain and Dazzler. (The upcoming cover for #5 is nice, too.) Again, lots of inventive page layouts. Like last time, I didn’t consult the annotations at all because the era covered is right in my wheelhouse, but it’s good to have it all in one place for future reference.

Although the main story reads like Marv Wolfman’s History of the DC Universe, it has a different purpose. The DCU one set forth specifically what’s in and what’s out of continuity post-Crisis; the Marvel one is simply a chronological retelling (which, as I noted above, has some purpose, too).

History of the Marvel Universe will be released as a treasury edition on February 12.

Spoiler space for #5 courtesy of this fine fellow, who never fails to make me smile:

Not much to say about this one. It covers from the first appearance of the Thunderbolts through to the Age of Ultron, covering stories that I mostly didn't read, but knew about.  I'd forgotten how stories of this period lurches relentlessly from one "event" to another.

The Sentry is still part of continuity, apparently.

Not sure why Electro was on the cover, since he doesn't appear in the book.

Next:  Spider-Man Miles Morales! Thor Jane Foster! Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan! The Black Panther! Captain Marvel Carol Danvers! Doom! Thanos! Ultron! A Sentinel!

I don't have much to say about this one, either, and was hoping your comments might serve as springboard for my own. I actually prefer this issue's summay to the actual "stories of this period [lurching] relentlessly from one 'event' to another." That's as apt a description of this era as anyone is likely to find.

Regarding the Sentry, that summary, too, was more palatable then the originals, many of which I did read. I'm thankful that Mark Waid didn't try to retroactively insert the character into earlier continuity.

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