There’s a comic book project I’ve been wanting to write for a while now, and since a) there aren’t any spoilers involved, and b) I’ll probably never get to write it anyway, I thought I’d share it with everyone. It’s based on a fairly obscure, but interesting piece of comics trivia: In Uncanny X-Men #165, during the Brood saga, Kitty Pryde is described as 14 for the first time. Her birthday, we’re told, passed while she was in space. (So Lockheed? Officially the Coolest Birthday Present Ever.)
Then, in Excalibur #15, we see her celebrating her 15th birthday in the company of Saturnyne. (Who she thinks is Courtney Ross at the time. God, it’s hard explaining Chris Claremont comics.) These two comics were both written by the same author, so there’s no question of continuity mistakes or differences in authorial intent. The span of X-books from January 1983 to late July 1990 are fully intended to take place over roughly one 365-day span of time.
And since this occurred during one of the most crossover-rich periods in comics history, we have plenty of mutual data points to tie the other Marvel books into a cohesive timeline. “January 1983” doesn’t necessarily translate across every title to the exact same moment in Marvel Time, but we know that Secret Wars happened within that span. So Johnny and Alicia started their relationship during that year, Tony Stark lost his company and had his bout with alcoholism, the Hulk turned intelligent, and Spider-Man got his black costume.
Likewise, Secret Wars II happened in that year. Which places Xavier’s mugging and subsequent exile to space, the Hulk’s exile to the dimensional crossroads, Power Pack’s…um, almost their entire career, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves, Thor’s turning into a frog (in fact, the whole Simonson run was during that year), the founding of the West Coast Avengers, Tony Stark’s retaking his company from Stane and Stane’s subsequent suicide, the end of the Dire Wraith Wars, Cyclops’ marriage and leaving of the X-Men, the entire freaking existence of the Beyonder in the Marvel Universe, Kristoff’s becoming Doom and Doom’s war against Kristoff, the return of Jean Grey and the founding of X-Factor…deep breath…all in that year too.
Oh, and the Mutant Massacre hit in that year, and the Fall of the Mutants (which means that by extension, the Armor Wars saga, Captain America being defrocked and replaced by Super-Patriot, and then returning to the role as Super-Patriot became USAgent also all hit in that year…oh, and the deaths of the X-Men and their subsequent resurrection and relocation to Australia…) And Inferno hit in that year, so that meant that Johnny and Alicia’s marriage, the Thing becoming leader of the FF, Quicksilver’s descent into and return from mental illness, the entire career of the Hobgoblin, the first appearance of Venom, the death of Kraven the Hunter, Ms Marvel becoming the She-Thing, the Hulk’s career as a Vegas enforcer, the Thing’s career as a pro wrestler, the Masters of Evil’s assault on Avengers’ Mansion, the Avengers disbanding and subsequent reformation as a team consisting of Mr Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, Gilgamesh, Thor and Cap, the Avengers’ relocation to Hydrobase, Daredevil’s secret identity being discovered by the Kingpin, Storm losing and regaining her powers, the destruction of the X-Mansion, the temporary transformation of New York into a demonic netherworld…and although we can’t be sure, since Excalibur didn’t participate in that particular crossover, it also looks like Acts of Vengeance happened around then. So that adds the founding of the New Warriors, the destruction of Hydrobase…
Basically, it was a busy freaking year. (You may feel free to contribute further momentous events in the comments section, but I think you get the idea.) The plan for the series I want to write borrows from DC’s “52”; only instead of telling a “missing” year of continuity in real time, this 52-issue weekly series would go back and retell that 365-day span of Marvel Time in real time. The reverse of decompression, it would try to convey to the readers the sheer chaos that exists in the Marvel Universe, and what it feels like to live in a world moving that fast. A year where snow fell in summer, where gods and more-than-gods walked the earth, a year where Iron Man quit and Captain America got fired, a year of destruction and creation and joy and sorrow…Marvel. One Year.
Anyone interested in reading that?