Sunday, 8 November 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 2000

One of DC Comics' biggest names took his first step into Marvel waters this year, with Grant Morrison's Marvel Boy, a Kree soldier who fell to Earth and fell out with pretty much everyone he met. Morrison would make a bit more of a name for himself in the years to come, whilst Noh-Varr would vanish without trace for the next few years, until he was recruited to work for Norman Osborn, adopting the Captain Marvel identity. But, you may ask, what happened to the previous Captain Marvel, the one who was Mar-Vell's son? Well, in 2000, he was just being launched in his own title, bonded with Rick Jones, and being written as a comedy drama by Peter David. His book would last a few years, and on its cancellation, he'd join the Thunderbolts, change his name to Photon, and be killed by Baron Zemo. Oh, the indignity.

The British were coming in 2000. In addition to Morrison's debut, 2000 also saw Warren Ellis take control of several of the X-Books, and Garth Ennis start writing the adventures of the Punisher. Additionally, fellow Brit Paul Jenkins' introduced the Sentry, his amnesiac hero from the dawn of the Silver Age.

It also saw the release of Marvel: The Lost Generation, an interesting, misdirected, and fairly futile attempt to bridge the ever-growing gap between the end of World War II and the start of the modern age of superheroes. Presented by Roger Stern and John Byrne, the characters introduced in the book vanished without trace as soon as the last issue of the series hit the stands.

Somewhat more long-lasting was Ultimate Marvel, another new brand, this one existing solely to relaunch the adventures of Spider-Man, the X-Men, and others in a new universe, unbound by all that annoying continuity. In time, these books would become as convoluted as the mainsteam Marvel Universe, but for a while there, new comic fans could dive into comics without needing an encyclopedia.

In other news, 2000 was the year we lost Charles Schultz and gained George Bush Jr. I'm sure there was some good news, but buggered if I can find any.

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