New Universe News: 2007
So now that Secret Wars 3 is (mostly) over, it's time for Marvel to roll out the new books that pick up a bit after the whole... whatever it is that recreated reality. I say that as I don't know how the story ends just yet, what with its last issue being late. Well, in all fairness that isn't exactly true; what happened is that they added an extra issue in to have even more story, and it's not done yet.
But anyway, one of these series features two characters that are relatively new, in the grand scheme of things, and they matter to the New Universe News in that they are the Marvel Universe variations on Nightmask and Starbrand! That's right, these two oddities, seemingly the only two people who were affected by the White Event which occurred in timeline 616 proper, now have their very own action going on.
I'm not sure if they're no longer Avengers, since the actual Avengers team seems to be disbanded (yet again) in the wake of the Wars, but either way the duo are now attending college in New York City. And, naturally, getting into wacky misadventures in both their public and secret identities as they both try to get a handle on their humanity in the face of their staggeringly awesome and ambiguous power sets. Check it out!
The other shocker, of course, is that Blur from the New Universe - the actual Blur, from the '80s comics - is featured in the new Squadron Supreme series. This group showcases a group of survivors from various variant timelines, all of whom have banded together to protect the earth they've found themselves on. As with previous incarnations of this team, the latest Squadron have proven to be quite... extreme in their methods.
In particular, they take exception to a villain who helped to destroy one of their number's own earth walking free. That's right, the Squadron take aim at Namor, and by extension, Atlantis itself! In this instance of my nerd worlds colliding, Marvel's original (anti)hero is throwing down with some of its newer characters, which makes for fun reading (yeah, I bought it), though of course the end result leaves me with mixed feelings.
It's hard to avoid spoilers here, what with the very cover of the second issue pretty much giving said result away, but I'll be nonetheless following the series because of Blur's presence. Not to mention promised flashbacks filling in the Squadron's backgrounds, and what happened to their worlds. And, of course, I eagerly await Namor's eventual resurrection... and subsequent homicidal vengeance against these guys.
Hey, everyone else has come back from the dead, after all!
Your friendly neighborhood Firebomb was totally blindsided by this. But that which you are looking at is issue seven of the new Avengers series - volume 5, if you're keeping track. But you may find youself asking why I'm listing an Avengers title in the New Universe News, particularly considering the lousy news that came along with it the last time I did such a thing.
Anyway. What's going on is that, with the launch of this series, the New Universe is apparently being incorporated into the Marvel Universe. Not the actual New Universe earth, which was already physically yanked into orbit around the Stranger's world in our timeline, or even the New Universe of earth number 555, which was where the newuniversal series took place.
However, the concepts introduced in the newuniversal title are being referenced directly. It seems something is destroying those 'White Event' machines situated in the Superflow - machines which are manned by some sort of cross-time aliens who act to ascend certain earths. And as a defense, these aliens trigger the machines before they're destroyed by... whatever.
Enter earth 616. The White Event machine is tripped, causing it to go off in an unplanned fashion - unplanned by the Powers That Be, at any rate. And thus, a new Star Brand has been created! That's where issue 7 concludes, so who knows just who this new Star Brand is, or what his motivations might be. Of course, the foreshadowing seems to indicate that this won't be what we call a 'peaceful' origin... by any means!
Having gone back and read the new Avengers series to date, it seems that some of this was built up over time. For instance, the whole creation of Nightmask took place a few issues before the 616 White Event. But then, vagaries of time and space are probably somewhat relative in the Superflow, so the strange entity Nightmask was originally created as may well have simply been the intended recipient of that 'glyph'.
Don't look at me, I'm not the writer. But I do enjoy his work! I caught wind of his previous New Universe shenanigans when he introduced a Star Brand wielding Reed Richards in a Fantastic Four storyline a bit back - one who went toe to toe with a rogue, variant earth Celestial! So yeah, it's nice to see someone else besides Firebomb still digs these characters and various associated concepts.
The best part of all this is that the series is currently being published in a biweekly fashion. Thus, I can get regular infusions of New Universe goodies to mitigate my addiction. While I was sad that the newuniversal thing ultimately didn't work out, what with its truly impressive start, this seems an equally good way to integrate New U 'stuff' into the Marvel multiverse... namely by shoving it into the main timeline.
Ah, good times.