Saturday, 7 November 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1999

By 1999, Natasha Romanova had been around for 35 years, a beloved institution. Never big enough to support her own title for long, the Black Widow was nevertheless a big part of the Marvel Universe, either adventuring with the Avengers, superspying with Nick Fury, or snogging the face off Daredevil. So why exactly anyone thought we needed a replacement, is anyone's guess. In any case, Yelena Belova, younger and blonder than Natasha, showed up in 1999, featured in the occasional mini-series for the next few years, then got blowed up good and proper in the Avengers. There's only room for one Black Widow, luv.

1999 also saw the debut of yet another Spider-Woman. This one was Mattie Franklin, a previously-unmentioned niece of J. Jonah Jameson, with the ability to sprout extra legs and stuff. Not a big hit, Mattie's own book didn't last long, and you don't even want to know what happened to her later.

In the real world, 1999 was the year that George Lucas, against all that is decent, made a new Star Wars film, while ex-KGB man, Vladimir Putin, took over in Russia. The world was becoming a scary place, especially for Star Wars fans.

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