Monday, 16 November 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 2006

By 2006, "event comics were rampant at Marvel. We had, in no particular order:

X-Men: Deadly Genesis - in which Ed Brubaker finally answered the question of who Cyclops and Havok's mystery brother was, about a decade after anyone had last expressed an interest in finding this out. The third brother, Vulcan, believed dead, and erased from the memories of everyone who met him (by that good guy, Professor X), came back from the dead, kidnapped the X-Men, killed Banshee, then went off into space to conquer the Shi'ar Empire.

Civil War - in which Mark Millar spins a yarn in which the New Warriors accidentally blow up a school, and the superhero community is torn in half, with factions arguing for and against superhero registration led by Iron Man and Captain America respectively, Spider-Man reveals his secret identity to the world, and Hank Pym builds a clone of Thor.

Planet Hulk - in which Mr Fantastic, Iron Man, Black Bolt and Dr Strange decide to exile the Hulk into space, accidentally sending him to a planet of enslaving insects, whom he proceeds to conquer. Planet Hulk's writer, Greg Pak, would subsequently return the Hulk to Earth to kick some arse, but this was a far superior tale.

Annihilation - in which Annihilus and his Negative Zone pals try to conquer the "Positive" Universe. Used by Keith Giffen and others as a means to jumpstart Marvel's "cosmic" characters, who had been somewhat underused in recent years.

Additionally, 2006 saw the Black Panther marry the X-Men's Storm, Warren Ellis launch Nextwave, comedy misadventures of some b-list heroes, and Neil Gaiman relaunch the Eternals. In all, a busy year for Marvel's marketing department.

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