Comic Deep Dive: Marvel’s New Universe

Hey, folks! Welcome back to Comic Deep Dive! During these COVID-related comics dark times, I’ve taken the opportunity to do some strange and exciting comic book reading to fill the time. This week, I’m talking all about Marvel’s New Universe imprint! Here’s the run-down:

The Story

  • Marvel decided to make a new universe
  • Everything mattered and events occurred in real time
  • Ran from 1986 to 1989
  • A few one-shots and cameos here and there
  • A decent Warren Ellis miniseries reinvention in the 2000s
  • Folded concepts into the main Marvel Universe in early 2010s

The Titles

  • D. P. 7
  • Justice
  • Kickers, Inc.
  • Mark Hazzard: Merc, Merc
  • Nightmask
  • Psi-Force
  • Spitfire and the Troubleshooters, Codename: Spitfire
  • Star Brand, The Star Brand

The Events

  • The Pitt
  • The Draft
  • The War

The Crossovers

  • Merged with the main Marvel Earth-616 universe after cancellation

The Good Stuff

  • Honestly not much
  • Events occurred in real time
  • Actions and deaths “mattered”
  • Reasonable to collect the whole line

The Bad Parts

  • Jim Shooter’s fall from grace
  • Tonal shifts every few months
  • Not a very cohesive universe
  • Not a single memorable character

The Creators of Note

  • Peter David, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Ron Wagner, Len Kaminski, and Tom DeFalco
  • Early work from Fabian Nicieza, Howard Mackie, Todd McFarlane, and Mark Bagley

Characters Off the Page

  • Never made it past the comics

The Returns

  • Starblast used a few characters by Mark Gruenwald
  • Spider-Man 2099 used Justice by Peter David
  • Exiles used a version of the characters by Tony Bedard
  • Untold Tales of the New Universe one-shots
  • Newuniversal miniseries by Warren Ellis
  • The Avengers brought concepts into main Marvel Universe Earth-616 by Jonathan Hickman
  • Star Brand & Nightmask miniseries post-Secret Wars

Overall Thoughts

  • This deep dive felt like work, which is never fun
  • I read it all so you don’t have to
  • I’ll keep a few issues written/drawn by the creators listed above, but probably won’t ever read them again
  • Seriously, this line was garbage
  • My final grade: D-

See you next week for another comic deep dive! In the meantime, share your thoughts on Marvel’s New Universe imprint with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

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