Marvel Comics Turns 1,000

On this week’s podcast (not posted yet), we talked about Marvel teasing many, many all-star creators doing something big in August. That included the recently retired George Perez. We record on Wednesday night, and on Thursday, a few of those creators swore they were not doing new books for Marvel. Let’s split the difference — on Friday, Marvel explained. The creators are not doing new books (at least, not right now), but they are all contributing to one BIG book — Marvel Comics #1,000.

Honoring Marvel’s 80th Anniversary (dated from the release of the actual Marvel Comics #1 in 1939), the over-sized book will be one loosely connected story spanning Marvel’s publishing history. Most of the contributions will be one or two pages, some scripted by people who have contributed to that history, and some by new people from outside the comics industry — including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! (Though I consider him part of comics, thanks to his Mycroft Holmes books for Titan Comics.)

Al Ewing (The Immortal Hulk) oversees the overall plot, and gets to write much of it. It’s a melange of industry giants and rising stars. What Marvel hasn’t released yet is the actual page count and the cost. If they match DC’s Action Comics and Detective Comics anniversary hardcovers, it could be over 200 pages for about $30, and if Marvel has a book of new material worth that amount, this would be it. However, they’ve been doing pretty well with 80-100 page regular comics at $10. We shall see — but as you look at all the names on the promo image, it’s hard to imagine 100 pages being nearly enough.

From Marvel:

As Marvel honors its 80th Anniversary this year, Marvel announced a new epic comic book issue to celebrate the legacy of the Marvel Universe: MARVEL COMICS #1000! Featuring 80 creative teams with luminaries from both classic and current comic books (and beyond!), this oversized one-shot will be packed with pages spanning across generations of Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes – with cover art from legendary artist Alex Ross!

As the Marvel Universe reaches new heights around the globe, MARVEL COMICS #1000 serves as a testament to the world of characters and stories that have captured the hearts of millions of fans – whether they’ve followed Marvel for years or are just getting started. Anyone will be able to pick up this book and dive right into the Marvel Comics Universe!

Al Ewing, writer of the critically-acclaimed Immortal Hulk series, will be the primary writer of MARVEL COMICS #1000, framing the overall structure of the book.

“There are so many threads in this mystery, so many different parts of Marvel you’ll find secret connections,” Ewing told THIS WEEK IN MARVEL. “There are a lot of synchronicities and echoes in this, and threads between all of that.”

“This is by far the most complex and complicated and difficult book I’ve ever had to assemble,” SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort told The New York Times, speaking to the historic unprecedented scope of the story.

Also speaking with the Times, Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski described how the buzzworthy creative teams were cast – especially with talents outside of comics: “Our characters are mentioned in so many different ways and in so many different mediums and we always keep track. Now these distinguished individuals are able to contribute back to the comics they grew up on.”

Among those individuals, some of whom teased the project on social media this week, are long-time Marvel veterans — including Roy Thomas, Peter David, Gerry Conway, and Adam Kubert — and current creators — including Saladin Ahmed, Gail Simone, Chip Zdarsky, and Kris Anka — as well as talents outside of comics, like filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

 

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About Derek McCaw
In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave). He performs with ComedySportz San Jose and ShakesBEERience, in addition to occasional screenwriting and acting jobs. If you ever played Eric's Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek's voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. You can buy his book "I Was Flesh Gordon" on the Amazon link at the right. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.