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Dan Coyle on Marvel's New Universe
posted March 27, 2005
 

Dan Coyle
Via the Internet


... don't mean to suggest that the concepts were any good, either -- escaped mental patient superheroes? -- but that they were obviously all high concepts rather than inspired innovation from one creative mind. I always expected some of the characters to return in a surprise attack on Marvel's traditional superheroes, but as far as I know, they haven't.

I think Mark Gruenwald's death in 1996 sealed the fate of the New Universe, as he was the only remaining member on staff that championed it. In the past year or so, I've been hunting the quarter bins for old new universe books, specifically PSI Force, The Star Brand, and Spitfire and the Troubleshooters. The Star Brand is particularly fascinating since it's generally regarded as Shooter's autobiography, and afterwards John Byrne takes over and turns the Shooter avatar into an accidental mass murderer and complete psychopath, proclaiming to anyone who will listen that "the old man gave me the power, and I must remake the universe the way I see fit!"

It's funny how so few of the creators who, well, created the original characters, with the exception of Mark Gruenwald, actually worked on the books for any length of time. Archie Goodwin, John Morelli, Eliot Brown, Walter Simonson. Oh, that Shooter.