At C2E2 Today, Marvel revealed that their mysterious 100th Anniversary special issue gimmick refers to the actual 100th anniversary of the creation of the Marvel Universe by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1961. The celebration will center around five one-shots released weekly in July featuring the future adventures of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man. Editor and official Marvel scapegoat Nick Lowe told blog Hero Complex that the company had so much fun celebrating 50th anniversaries last year that it wanted to do it again, so why not celebrate their 100th anniversary early?
"Plus, you know, it really screws with DC," Lowe added, referring to the fact that DC's upcoming Universe-rocking blockbuster event, Future's End, is set a paltry five years in the future.
Of course, the timeline of the entire thing is somewhat confusing, thanks to Marvel's weird continuity where no one ever ages and the entire history of the Marvel Universe takes place in the span of about seven years. For instance, Spider-Man 2061 will star Peter Parker, who will presumably still be about a twenty-nine year old bachelor. Lowe called this "One of the hallmarks of Marvel comics is the living history," adding, "We don’t reboot here really. The Spider-Man that you’re reading in today’s comics is the same Spider-Man that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created in ‘Amazing Fantasy’ No. 15. Same goes for Fantastic Four. People may die and come back to life, it’s the same ongoing history."
Lowe revealed some details about the series as well. In the X-Men issue, written by Robin Furth with art by Jason Masters and a cover by Jason Latour, Cyclops is a national hero who has been elected president, finally getting the recognition he deserves for being better than Wolverine, though it may just be another excuse to disparage the character of the beloved character, as an asteroid strikes Earth and the country descends into chaos under his leadership.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, written by Ron Marz and Andy Lanning with art by Gustavo Duarte and a cover from David Lopez, a gender-bent Star Lord teams with Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot along with original Guardian Charlie-27 and Iron Man (not Tony Stark) to battle an amalgam of Galactus and the Silver Surfer called, inventively, The Silver Galactus.
James Stokoe will write and draw The Avengers, which will star Beta Ray Bill, Doctor Strange, and Rogue fighting The Mole Man. The Fantastic Four, from Jen Van Meter and Joanna Estep, will feature the team returning from a long hiatus where they were thought dead. Spider-Man, from creative team Sean Ryan and In-Hyuk Lee, Peter Parker battles a symbiote-wearing Kingpin after Kingpin murders Eddie Brock.
Or maybe none of that will happen - it's all pretty confusing, as Hero Complex listed slightly different creative teams for the books than Newsarama did, with Hero Complex's matching last week's Marvel Solicits. According to Newsarama, Furth and Masters replaced Van Meter and Lee on X-Men, with Van Meter replacing Stokoe on Fantastic Four. Ron Marz was added to Guardians of the Galaxy. We went with Newsarama's version above, because we figure Marvel probably gave them the real info in bed last night. We would be remiss if we didn't mention that this creative team shakeup comes just one day after Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso teased rival DC Comics for not knowing the creative teams for their Future's End tie-ins for September. Ouch.
Of course, the asskissing mainstream comic book media will never point that out.
Whatever the case, we're these stories will change the face of the future Marvel Universe forever, we're sure everyone is glad to be playing in the sandbox, blah blah blah and yadda yadda yadda. Here's the covers: