The Marvel Comics sliding timescale has caused all manner of changes to Marvel continuity over the year, With the Fantastic Four launch into space now being set after 9/11, the origins of Mister Fantastic and Ben Grimm having been fighting in World War II together were an early casualty, The Punisher's origins in Vietnam having been more recently shifted to a more recent skirmish. The Iraq Wars and the War in Afghanistan were recently repurposed for these characters, but even they are starting to more into the mid-distance, continuity-wise.
In today's History of The Marvel Universe #2 by Mark Waid and Javier Rordiguez, and a tonne of editorial input, which covers the twentieth century, we get a major rewrite.
For all these contemporary characters with wartime experience, aside from Captain America, the Red Skull, the original Human Torch and Namor, Sub Mariner, the war in which they all fought has now, has been shifted from the more recent Middle Eastern wars, to a fictional war in East Asia.
The Siancong War – originally the SinCong Conflict in Marve Comics continuity – a Vietnam/Korean War analogue from early issues of The Avengers, then shown as a revolution against the French Empire in the eighties, looks like it will now be the place of conflict for The Thing, Mister Fantastic, War Machine, The Punisher and anyone else who needs such an event in their story. And, since it is a fictional war, it can slide down the timeline along with everything else. And The Dragon's Breath as the MacGuffin from New Warriors, originally meant to be from Cambodia, that seems to have fuelled such conflicts – as well as now being behind the power bases of plenty of the yellow peril bad guys of the 60s and 70s, including The Mandarin and Lady Lotus.
This is just one example of the many threads being tied together into new cords, including picking up on bits from other continuities. We saw in the Fox X-Men movies that Nathaniel Essex, known to us as Mister Sinister was involved in the origin of Wolverine as Weapon X. Well, that seems to have inspired another new point of continuity in History #2…
With those behind Weapon X being inspired by Essex's Victorian work as seen in The Adventures Of Cyclops and Phoenix.
Two small points from a volume full of this stuff – the only disappointment is that it ignores what is to come in Marvel Comics #1000. Spoilers, I presume…
HISTORY OF MARVEL UNIVERSE #2 (OF 6)
(W) Mark Waid (A) Javier Rodriguez (CA) Steve McNiven
From the dawn of the 20th century to the first meeting of Mr. Fantastic and Doctor Doom, learn the secrets of Marvel's history! Who was John Steele? Which Western gunslinger helped inspire the first Heroic Age? All this and more – revealed!
Rated TIn Shops: Aug 21, 2019