Wolverine – The End (2003)

As part of Marvel‘s The End series the comic details Wolverine’s last adventure.  The story, written by Paul Jenkins, depicts Wolverine as an old man living in the Canadian wilderness facing his own mortality. Events depicted within Wolverine: The End have been contradicted in other works, which leaves the work’s status within continuity and a future canon uncertain.

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Avengers (2010’s)

The Earth has been STOLEN! The sky burns while mysterious cosmic objects crash down from above, wreaking havoc across the world – and the Avengers are the last line of defense between Earth and the mysterious forces threatening to tear it apart. It’s time to ASSEMBLE almost everyone who has ever been an Avenger! All of the Avengers you know and love come together to face threats beyond any they’ve faced before – including the Black Order and the Lethal Legion. These two teams of powerful villains bent on destroying each other have arrived on Earth, and they don’t care who gets caught in the crossfire. And when the mysterious Challenger faces off against the Grandmaster, can the Earth survive the destruction they unleash? The Avengers are engaged in a game of cosmic proportions, but they don’t know the rules…and not everyone will survive! Plus: Who is Voyager? Valerie Vector, the forgotten founding Avenger, is revealed. And fan-favorite Avenger, Hulk, returns to the fold as the stakes in the battle for Earth become clear! Tension is high and peril is imminent, but there’s no option to surrender for the relentless Avengers!

Captain America V1 (1990’s)

Following Mark Gruenwald’s departure from the series, Mark Waid took over and resurrected Sharon Carter as Cap’s love interest. The title was then relaunched under Rob Liefeld as Cap became part of the Heroes Reborn universe for 13 issues before another relaunch restored Waid to the title in an arc that saw Cap lose his shield for a time using an energy based shield as a temporary replacement.

Uncanny X-Men (1980’s)

The “Dark Phoenix Saga” in 1980 led to a change in the line-up of the team, with the death of Phoenix (Jean Grey), and Cyclops leaving the team to mourn for her. Comics writers and historians Roy Thomas and Peter Sanderson observed that “‘The Dark Phoenix Saga’ is to Claremont and Byrne what ‘the Galactus Trilogy‘ is to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It is a landmark in Marvel history, showcasing its creators’ work at the height of their abilities.” The storyline also saw the introduction of recurring antagonists the Hellfire Club, and its Inner Circle consisting of Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Harry Leland, Donald Pierce, along with Mastermind, previously a member of Magneto’s Brotherhood. The new teenage mutant Kitty Pryde was introduced in #129 (Jan. 1980) and joined the X-Men in #139. The Dazzler, a disco-singing, roller-skating mutant, was introduced in #130 (Feb. 1980), but did not join the team, instead headlining her own solo title.

A new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, led by Mystique, was introduced in the “Days of Future Past” storyline (#141-#142, Jan–Feb 1981) in which a time-travelling Kitty Pryde tried to avert a dystopian future caused by the Brotherhood assassinating Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly. Byrne plotted the story wanting to depict the Sentinels as a genuine threat to the existence of the mutant race. He then left the series after #143, being replaced by a returning Cockrum, who in turn was succeeded by Paul Smith and John Romita Jr.

X-23 (2005)

In X-23: “Innocence Lost”, a top-secret program is tasked to replicate the original Weapon X experiment that bonded adamantium to the skeleton of Wolverine. The project is taken in a new direction: Dr. Martin Sutter recruits renowned mutant geneticist Doctor Sarah Kinney to develop a clone of Wolverine. Also on the team is Sutter’s protege, Dr. Zander Rice, who was raised by Sutter after his father was killed by the original Weapon X.

Since the only genetic sample from Weapon X is damaged, Kinney is unable to salvage the Y chromosome. Kinney proposes the creation of a female genetic twin. Her request is denied; Rice is opposed to the idea. After 22 failed attempts at reconstituting the DNA using a duplicate X chromosome, the 23rd sample yields a viable sample to combine with an embryo. Although Kinney is allowed to proceed, Rice exacts revenge for her insubordination by forcing her to act as the surrogate mother of the specimen. For nine months, Kinney’s every move is monitored. Finally, she gives birth to “X-23”

 

Thunderbolts V2 (2013)

A new team composed of Red HulkDeadpoolElektraAgent Venom, and Punisher debuted as a part of Marvel NOW! major relaunch. Written by Daniel Way with drawings by Steve Dillon. This incarnation is not a government-sponsored team.

Red Hulk assembles his incarnation of the Thunderbolts to be a strike team that is close to “Code Red.” He has gathered Deadpool, Elektra, Punisher, and Agent Venom because “their conditions cannot be cured.” Red Hulk has his Thunderbolts do things that are similar to X-Force. Red Hulk has obtained Samuel Sterns’ body and hooks it up to a machine that emits Red Gamma Radiation onto Samuel Sterns. Deadpool later finds Samuel Sterns’ as a Red Leader with no apparent powers as he expresses his view that the Punisher won’t be pleased. Punisher finds Red Leader’s body and shoots him between the eyes disrupting whatever plans Red Hulk has for Red Leader.

Uncanny X-men (1990’s)

After Claremont’s run, the X-Men were divided into two color-coded squads, with a Blue team headlining the adjectiveless X-Men title, while the Gold team, consisting of Archangel, Colossus, Jean Grey, Iceman and Storm, appeared in Uncanny. This roster was later joined by Bishop, another refugee from the future. After Claremont’s departure, Jim Lee continued as plotter, while John Byrne scripted from #281 to #286. Byrne was replaced as scripter from #286 by Scott Lobdell, who was fully credited as writer from #289. The “X-Cutioner’s Song” crossover was released in the fall of 1992 and resulted in the outbreak of the Legacy virus, a mutant-specific plague which continued as a story element in X-Men comics until 2001.

Web of Spider-Man (1980’s)

The series was launched with an April 1985 cover dated issue by writer Louise Simonson and penciller Greg LaRocque and featured the return of Spider-Man’s alien black costume, which attempted to rebond with Peter Parker. Peter managed to rid himself of the costume again using church bells and the alien was presumed to have died after that. The first issue featured a cover painting by artist Charles Vess.

In issue #18 (September 1986), Peter Parker is pushed in front of an oncoming train. He thinks to himself that this should not have happened, as his spider-sense would have warned him of the danger. Writer David Michelinie has said that he wrote this as the first “teaser” appearance of the characterVenom, whom he was planning to introduce at a later date. Venom is an amalgam of reporter Eddie Brock and the alien costume. The costume could nullify Spider-Man’s spider-sense, and this was the first clue of a puzzle that Michelinie was planning to weave to introduce Venom.

Web of Spider-Man Annual #2 (1986) featured stories drawn by Arthur Adams and Mike Mignola. A followup to the Spider-Man vs. Wolverine one-shot appeared in issue #29. The “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline by writer J.M. DeMatteis and artists Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod began in issue #31 (October 1987).

 

Uncanny X-Men (2000’s)

Chris Claremont made a brief return from #381 (June 2000) to #389, at which point he transferred to the new X-Treme X-Men title, as Grant Morrison took over the X-Men vol. 2 and that became the flagship X-Men title. From 2001 Lobdell made a short return, and then Joe Casey and Chuck Austen wrote runs into 2004. The title became bimonthly from 2003 to 2004.

The X-Men: Reload reshuffle of titles in 2004 led to Claremont returning to Uncanny with issue #444. The stories addressed the new status quo established by Morrison, with Jean Grey having died again, and Cyclops in a relationship with Emma Frost. Claremont remained until #473. His final story was the “Death of the Greys” in 2006, as part of the “Decimation” storyline, where the vast majority of mutants had lost their powers. He was replaced by Ed Brubaker, who wrote a 12-part epic space opera story “The Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire”, as a follow-up to his miniseries X-Men: Deadly Genesis. After this the title led into the “Messiah Complex” crossover event, dealing with the first mutant birth since the Decimation.

 

Thor – Silver Age

Thor debuted in the science fiction/fantasy anthology title Journey into Mystery #83 (cover-date Aug. 1962), and was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller-plotter Jack Kirby. A different version of the mythological Thor had appeared previously in Venus #12-13 (Feb.-April 1951).

In a 1984 interview Kirby said “I did a version of Thor for D.C. in the Fifties before I did him for Marvel. I created Thor at Marvel because I was forever enamored of legends, which is why I knew about Balder, Heimdall, and Odin. I tried to update Thor and put him into a superhero costume, but he was still Thor.” And in a 1992 interview, Kirby said “[I] knew the Thor legends very well, but I wanted to modernize them. I felt that might be a new thing for comics, taking the old legends and modernizing them.”

Journey into Mystery was retitled Thor (per the indicia, or The Mighty Thor per most covers) with issue #126 (March 1966). “Tales of Asgard” was replaced by a five-page featurette starring the Inhumans from #146–152 (Nov. 1967 – May 1968), after which featurettes were dropped and the Thor stories expanded to Marvel’s then-standard 20-page length.