Brian Bendis Redefines "616" In Today's Invincible Iron Man

One of the jobs of the Secret Wars series was to do away with the 616 sobriquet for the Marvel Universe, created by Dave Thorpe/Alan Moore for Captain Britain, picked up by Chris Claremont for the X-Men and eventually infecting the whole of the Marvel Universe. It was a good gag, while DC Comics obsessed with Earth 1, Earth 2, Earth 3,  the Marvel Universe was a world outside your window, nothing special, much further down the dial;, and a lot more confident with its status.

As Marvel developed further dimensional realities, they all got their own similarly long numbers and as Marvel published the Ultimate Universe, so fans distinguished between that and the "616" universe.

Marvel execs and editors seemed to have an antipathy to the use, seeing it as bogged down in fanboy excess and off-putting to the casual reader. But in the year before Secret Wars, its use increased, principally by Dan Slott in Spider-Verse and Jonathan Hickman in Time Runs Out. Secret Wars put an end to all realities, then rebooted them, with the Marvel Universe no longer 616 but Prime.

Since then, apart from a few editorial mistakes in Web Warriors, Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen, Marvel has stayed pretty united on this. No one uses the 616 numbering.

No one, that is, except Brian Bendis, in today's Invincible Iron Man #8. With Stefano Caselli and Marte Gracia.

Brian Bendis Redefines "616" In Today's Invincible Iron Man

Now the Marvel Comics code for a terrorist attack at the stage of an existing terrorist attack. And now that's Marvel canon… after all, langauge is so important…Brian Bendis Redefines "616" In Today's Invincible Iron Man

"One of the good ones"… Brian Bendis Redefines "616" In Today's Invincible Iron Man

Weapons Of Mutant Destruction #1 by Greg Pak, Mahmud Asrar and Nolan Woodward is all up in that as well. Rather good too, especially for X-Men readers feeling X-Men Gold is a little lacking today…

Brian Bendis Redefines "616" In Today's Invincible Iron Man


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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