Sunday, 25 October 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1989

The X-Universe was getting busy by 1989, with 5 full-time books: Uncanny X-Men (under the control of Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri); Excalibur (Claremont and Alan Davis); Wolverine (Claremont, again, and John Buscema); X-Factor (written by Louise Simonson, and drawn mostly by husband Walt); and New Mutants (Simonson, again, and mostly Bret Blevins, although the issue above was drawn by John Byrne). Of course, had we known what was ahead of us, in terms of the apparent exponential expansion of the X-universe, we'd have counted ourselves lucky to just have five books.

The New Mutants themselves were pretty busy too. They started 1989 by being embroiled in the Inferno saga, with Magik going crazy and turning into a demon. They lost the school and their headmaster, Magneto, turned back into a villain, and they finished the year stranded in Asgard, trying to save the 9 Realms from Hela. By this point, the book had abandoned any of the notion of being a story about school kids who just happened to be mutants, in favour of standard superhero stuff. We weren't quite at the annual "event" stage yet, but we were getting there.

Speaking of events, 1989 saw the "Acts of Vengeance" storyline, where some of Marvel's biggest bad guys decided the best way to beat their foes was to trade opponents. This led to such fights as Doctor Doom versus the Punisher, Daredevil versus Ultron, and the Fantastic Four versus Plantman. That storyline also saw the introduction of the New Warriors, another team of teenage superheroes, whilst, back over at the X-Books, future X-Woman, Jubilee, made her first appearance. Thor had a new secret identity, in the person of Eric Masterson, who'd later become the pseudo-Thunder God, Thunderstrike.

The real 1989 saw author Salman Rushdie get into a spot of bother, the introduction of the somewhat unpopular Poll Tax in the UK, and the decline and fall of the Berlin Wall. Yay!

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