Daredevil (1980’s)

During the 80’s Frank Miller was hired to continue the title and did so in a similar vein to previous writer  Roger McKenzie. Resuming the drastic metamorphosis the previous writer had begun, Miller took the step of essentially ignoring all of Daredevil’s continuity prior to his run on the series; on the occasions where older villains and supporting cast were used, their characterizations and history with Daredevil were reworked or overwritten. Most prominently, dedicated and loving father Jack Murdock was reimagined as a drunkard who physically abused his son Matt, entirely revising Daredevil’s reasons for becoming a lawyer. Spider-Man villain Kingpin was introduced as Daredevil’s new nemesis, displacing most of his large rogues gallery. Daredevil himself was gradually developed into an antihero. In issue #181 (April 1982), he attempts to murder one of his arch-enemies by throwing him off a tall building; when the villain survives as a quadriplegic, he breaks into his hospital room and tries to scare him to death by playing a two-man variation on Russian roulette with a secretly unloaded gun. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that “Almost immediately, [Miller] began to attract attention with his terse tales of urban crime.” Miller’s revamping of the title was controversial among fans, but it clicked with new readers, and sales began soaring, the comic returning to monthly status just three issues after Miller came on as writer.

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Amazing Spider-Man (Silver Age)

Due to strong sales on the character’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man was given his own ongoing series in March 1963. The initial years of the series, under Lee and Ditko, chronicled Spider-Man’s nascent career with his civilian life as hard-luck yet perpetually good-humored teenager Peter Parker. Peter balanced his career as Spider-Man with his job as a freelance photographer for The Daily Bugle under the bombastic editor-publisher J. Jonah Jameson to support himself and his frail Aunt May. At the same time, Peter dealt with public hostility towards Spider-Man and the antagonism of his classmates Flash Thompson and Liz Allan at Midtown High School, while embarking on a tentative, ill-fated romance with Jameson’s secretary, Betty Brant.

By focusing on Parker’s everyday problems, Lee and Ditko created a groundbreakingly flawed, self-doubting superhero, and the first major teenaged superhero to be a protagonist and not a sidekick. Ditko’s quirky art provided a stark contrast to the more cleanly dynamic stylings of Marvel’s most prominent artist, Jack Kirby, and combined with the humor and pathos of Lee’s writing to lay the foundation for what became an enduring mythos.

What If? V12 (2015)

In October 2015 Marvel released another five-part series of stories under the What If? banner, this time focused on the 2013 event Infinity which saw the Avengers, Guardians of the GalaxyInhumans and other groups dealing with a combined threat of a universal incursion by the race the Builders and an attack on Earth by Thanos and his forces. Each issue is a one-shot, and the first four explore a different outcome to the event. The fifth, What If? Infinity: Dark Reign, presents a world in which Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers had acquired the Infinity Gauntlet during the Dark Reign event.

What If… V3 (2005)

In February 2005, Marvel published a further six issues of What If. They were all in the “one-shot” format. The editor, Justin Gabrie, attributed the publication of Volume 3 to a suggestion from C. B. Cebulski. Uatu the Watcher narrates some issues and there is a cameo by Brian Michael Bendis as narrator (see “The narrator” above). In Volume 3, there is a “nod” to a Volume 1 story, What if Uncle Ben had lived? In a conversation between a comic shop customer and an attendant, the customer asks,”What if Aunt May had died instead of Uncle Ben?” Leading to another alternative plot. Marvel published a single parody edition called Wha… Huh?!? in August 2005.

Battlestar Galactica (1979)

The comic book Battlestar Galactica, based on the ABC television series of the same name, was published monthly by Marvel Comics from March 1979 through January 1981, and lasted 23 issues.

Although there were other attempts to adapt Battlestar Galactica into a comic book format, the Marvel series is considered by many to have been the most successful in terms of run, sales, and content.

This was accomplished against some notable odds. Although Roger McKenzie was most often the writer, and Walt Simonson the most regular artist, the book also had a heavy rotation of guest writers and artists.

Marvel Comics’ began its adaptation of Battlestar Galactica with Marvel Super Special #8, a magazine format comic written by Roger McKenzie and drawn by Ernie Colón which was released as a tie-in to the start of the series. Based on an early script of the three hour series premiere “Saga of a Star World”, this adaptation, which gave a relatively short treatment to the third hour, was also released in a tabloid format and then later as a paperback as well. The tabloid version was also printed by Whitman Comics. Its success led Marvel to print a regular monthly comic depicting the adventures of the ragtag fleet.

Incredible Hulk V1 (1990’s)

The 1990s saw the Green Hulk return. In issue #377 (Jan. 1991), the Hulk was revamped in a storyline that saw the personalities of Banner, Grey Hulk, and Savage Hulk confront Banner’s past abuse at the hands of his father Brian and a new “Guilt Hulk” persona. Overcoming the trauma, the intelligent Banner, cunning Grey Hulk, and powerful Savage Hulk personalities merge into a new single entity possessing the traits of all three. The Hulk also joined the Pantheon, a secretive organization of superpowered individuals. His tenure with the organization brought the Hulk into conflict with a tyrannical alternate future version of himself called the Maestro in the 1993 Future Imperfect miniseries, who rules over a world where many heroes are dead.

Hellraiser (1989)

Epic Comics, an imprint of Marvel Comics, began publishing a series of comic book spin-offs for the Hellraiser franchise. The comics contained a set of short stories, with Clive Barker acting as a consultant on all of the comics. Between 1989 and 1992, Epic published twenty regular series comics.

Spider-Man Unlimited V1 (1993)

Originally announced under the title Spider-Man Giant Size, the 1993 series was a quarterly series with double-length stories, which at the time was notable for being printed on glossy stock paper (a practice discontinued in later issues before being adopted by the entire Marvel line in the 2000s). Earlier issues played a part in Spider-Man crossovers; the first issue was the first part of Maximum Carnage and the second issue was the last part of Maximum Carnage. Issues #7-14 formed part of the Clone Saga. Later in the series, the focus shifted to stand-alone stories. Ron Lim penciled the lead story in the first 8 issues of the book. Most of the later issues were written by Christopher Golden and drawn by Joe Bennett.

Silk V2 (2015)

As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel branding, Silk is on a stakeout at a skating rink. Silk’s Spider-Sense goes off as a group of Goblin Nation grunts rob a bank. Monologuing to herself, Silk reveals she’d been tailing the Goblin Nation for two weeks in order to avenge her brother who was infused with Goblin Formula and now has no memory of what happened to their parents. Extending claws, Silk slashes the Goblin Nation grunts’ getaway car and webs them up, taking their loot, a safety deposit box containing Parker Industries tech. Thinking to herself that she has no idea what’s in the safety deposit box just that her boss wants it, Silk returns to her now-employer Black Cat, who she is working with despite their earlier antagonism, who scolds her for showing mercy and tells her that being good is bad for business.

Wolverine V3 (2000’s)

In 2008, writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven explored a possible future for Wolverine in an eight-issue story arc entitled “Old Man Logan” that debuted with Wolverine #66. Millar, the writer for the story, said, “It’s The Dark Knight Returns for Wolverine, essentially. The big, wide, show-stopping series that plays around with the most popular Marvel character of the last forty years, a dystopian vision of the Marvel Universe and a unique look at their futures. The heroes have gone, the villains have won and we’re two generations away from the Marvel we know.