A brand new miniseries spinning out of Marvel’s 80th anniversary celebrations will be attempting quite the feat: telling the full history of the Marvel Universe. We’re lucky to have Mark Waid as the writer of this comic, as he has extensive knowledge of both DC and Marvel comics — in particular, he has worked some magic on characters like Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Black Widow. Teaming up with Waid will be artist Javier Rodriguez, who has also done some pencil work for Spider-Man and Daredevil titles, so these two should be a great team for this event. So let us jump into the issue and get some SPOILERS.
As we begin this series, we are showing an older Franklin Richards talking with Galactus in the middle of nothing at the end of time, so this opens very cosmic, very fast. Now don’t let that scare you off, as you won’t need to know anything prior to this series. Galactus will be your narrator as he tells Franklin everything.
What is very neat about this issue is it will teach you a lot about the cosmic side of Marvel, like how the Skrull and Kree races had influence on Earth and the creations of beings like the Elders of the Universe and the Eternals. This will also be telling us the history of comics from our own real-life timeline, and how they fit in with Marvel continuity, so for example the creation of the Infinity Gems and the Avengers 1,000,000 B.C., both of which have major impact but were established later on in the story of the Marvel Universe.
If you just let the story drive you along, you can definitely see how the nuts and bolts connect to form these creations we have loved for so long. Plus at the end of the comic story there is a second section of annotations that will also show where these events come from. It is really helpful because as a fan who hasn’t been here since the Golden Age, these pages give me a total reference of text and pictures showcasing the comics they came from. That alone is pretty amazing and makes for a nice extra feature. So we get 22 pages of story and 13 pages of annotations for a price of $4.99 an issue — the hard part will be deciding which cover to pick…remember, they are connecting covers, so make sure they match.
Javier Rodriguez does a great job fitting in millions of years worth of story into his pages and making them flow and connect. I like how at the start of this we can see how Galactus is taking his shape and form while the new universe is being born. It makes sense, as he is telling a story. Javier does a great job to honor all the artists before him and really showcase these characters and events while still making it in his style. I’ve enjoyed his art in Daredevil and I would highly recommend that you enjoy each page after you read the text, as Javier has a great way of making his art flow from side to side and up and down.
Mark Waid and the credited research team really did an amazing job here with tackling this much history in one issue — they go from the Big Bang to Young James Howlett. This will be a fun series to read along with and learn about the new changes to MU history. It’s taught me some stuff I didn’t know, specifically the story of the Watchers — I just thought they were little voyeurs, but I’ve come to find that at the start of time they really wanted to help.
So the groundwork is laid out, and I’ll be honest: comic history is something I geek out about, so this book got to me early on. For newer fans I think this would be a great way to see how it all connects and also revisits some classic Marvel moments. For the longtime fan, this is great to really test your knowledge. This miniseries also looks like it will be a fun companion to the History of the DC Universe from the 50th anniversary of DC Comics; which needs an update since they are now 85 years old. The next issues look more promising as they will start to cover more of the ‘Marvel Age’ of comics with the superheroes we know and love.