In Marvel’s solicitations for July 2014, many were baffled by a string of books with the title “100th Anniversary Special” followed by the name of the book (Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Guardians of the Galaxy). Some of us here at CR even speculated on a podcast what this could be pointing to.
If you haven’t done the math yet, Marvel began as Timely Comics in 1939 (then switched to Marvel in 1961). So this year marks Marvel/Timely’s 75th Anniversary. So even using the Timely iteration of the company, we’re still a ways off from the 100th Anniversary, hence the confusion.
Well, turns out, as we learned from C2E2, to celebrate their 75th Anniversary, Marvel is looking forward to the year 2061, 100 years after the launch of the company as Marvel, and setting these titles, characters and stories in that time period. Despite the fact that Marvel, as Marvel, just celebrated its 50th Anniversary 3 years ago…
Setting aside all the numbers and anniversaries, it boils down to this: These five titles are being flung to the year 2061 for stories taking place in the future. Simple as that. Kind of like DC’s Five Years Later, Futures End and One Year Later if you go pre-New 52. Though time travel is nothing new for Marvel either. They built an entire separate universe around the year 1602 after all.
While we still don’t have much information on these books, we did finally get the covers, and we already knew the creative teams from solicits.
The GotG (Guardians of the Galaxy) issue will be written by Andy Lanning (Annhilation), who returns to the book for this special, and Ron Marz (Witchblade). I’m rather excited about that actually. Art chores will be handled by Gustavo Duarte with a cover by David Lopez (Captain Marvel). Silver Galactus and the return of Charlie 27 will be featured.
The Spider-Man issue will be written by Sean Ryan (A+X, Flashpoint: Grodd of War) with art by In-Hyuk Lee (Scarlet Spider), as we see the Kingpin united with a Venom symbiote!
Robin Furth (Dark Tower) and Jason Masters (Legends of the Dark Knight) take on the X-Men issue, with a cover by Jason Latour (Wolverine and the X-Men), which will feature the wedding of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Emma Frost after Summers becomes the President of the United States!
The Avengers issue will be written and illustrated by James Stokoe (Orc Stain), which looks to feature an entirely different team of Avengers.
Finally, Jen Van Meter (Amazing Spider-Man) pens the Fantastic Four (the book that started it all back in 1961, I might add), with art by newcomer Joanna Estep (Roadsong, Fraggle Rock), whom some CR locals might be familiar with. Editor Nick Lowe promised that these are “not the characters you expect.”
All of these books, which I believe are one-shots, ship in July 2014.