So I just finished reading Marvel’s summer blockbuster event, Secret Invasion. And boy, what an event! The alien-shifting skrulls shook the Marvel Universe by almost taking over Earth as they managed to sow seeds of mistrust amongst the superheroes with the skrull queen posing as Spiderwoman. Amongst the consequences was the death of founding Avengers the Wasp, the return of the captives including Mockingbird and the most hated woman in the planet (the real Spiderwoman), Iron man is now the most wanted man in America, and Jessica’s baby is still missing. Now we have the former Green Goblin, Norman Osborn, heading the elite peacekeeping force. And he’s allied himself with the premiere villains of the universe: Doctor Doom, The Hood, Loki, Namor, and Emma Frost. And Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and Writer Brian Michael Bendis have orchestrated these epic and grand plans since 2004 and has resulted by effectively bringing the Avengers back to prominence. The landscape continues to change in bold and exciting ways.
It all began in Bendis’ 2004 limited series, Secret War. What seemed like just another cool event to team up Captain America with Spiderman and Wolverine, began the deconstruction as Nick Fury went underground as he mind wiped the heroes to battle Doctor Doom’s Latevria nation. But their biggest deconstruction was the Avengers Disassembled arc that reached it’s 500th issue. Prominent Avengers, the Scarlet Witch, tears the team apart as her powers and mind go insane by effectively killing Ant-Man, the Vision, and Hawkeye.
The Avengers team break up but Bendis sets in motion his plans as he assembles his Avengers dream. In the New Avengers, Captain America, Spiderman, Luke Cage, Spiderwoman, Iron Man, Wolverine, and the Sentry are brought together after a prison that holds over 46 villains are released. Many secrets abound with the uneasy truce with Spiderwoman. But many other problems distract the team, including the problem with the Scarlet Witch. The House of M arc becomes the big event as the Avengers and the X-Men try to deal with the uncontrollable Scarlet Witch. After she grants the superheroes’ greatest wishes under the mutant domination of Magneto, she wipes off 90% of the mutant population leaving the X-Universe in ruins.
The X-Men are in shambles, but 2006 sets the bar high as the Civil War between the superheroes begins. After an incident occurs that kills innocent people including children, the superhero registration is initiated that leaves Iron Man and Captain America against each other. In the end, Iron Man wins and sets his 50-State Initiative. Many big changes occur in the Marvel Universe such as the death of Captain America with Bucky honoring the title, the Hulk returning who demands revenge against the superheroes and the secret group of the Illuminati, an emergence of a more classic avengers team, a secret avengers team on the run, the thunderbolts as the super villains hunting the anti-registration heroes, the X-men on the hunt for the first mutant baby in years, and the Silent War with quicksilver between the Inhumans and the U.S. government.
The secret invasion revealed the happenings of the past four years and sets the bar high for the Dark Reign. On the horizon seems to be the cosmic war between Inhumans’ leader Black Bolt and Vulcan, the third brother of the Summers Clan. The X-men are in San Francisco and Norman Osborn seems to be causing trouble for everyone. The Marvel Universe is unpredictable and ripe for explosion. Nick Fury is back with his new team, the Secret Warriors, and now the Avengers family is growing with three new teams: Dark, Mighty, and New Avengers.
Joe Quesada brought the Avengers front and center. He constantly changed the status quo with the rise of B-rated characters, eliminated low sales titles, launched new titles partnered with Indie writers and up and coming artists (Young Guns), and brought big changes with permanent eliminations of the Scarlet Witch, Jean Grey, Captain America, and Nick Fury. Bendis, Quesada, and the rest of the Marvel staff are the architects and they never look back as they care about moving forward with storylines instead of reliving stale nostalgia. Bring it on cause the Marvel Universe just entered a dark era.
The Shockers of the Marvel Universe:
After destroying the Avengers and recreating a mutant utopia, the most dangerous mutant in the world takes it all back with three little words.
Captain America is shot by his brainwashed lover after losing the Civil War and tried as a vigilante criminal.
One of the greatest assassins in the Marvel Universe is revealed to be an undetected skrull.