Last year Marvel celebrated it’s 80th birthday with several exciting projects. But one of the most ambitious was Marvel Comics #1000 and the subsequent Marvel Comics #1001. A group of 80 of of the best names to work at Marvel from the past up to the present unite under the guide of Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing to tell a story that not only celebrates the best of Marvel’s past, but also sows seeds for events coming in the future. A mystery threads throughout the Marvel Universe – one that began in Marvel Comics #1 and unites a disparate array of heroes and villains throughout the decades! What is the Eternity Mask? And who is responsible for the conspiracy to keep it hidden? As secrets are peeled away, answers await the entirety of the Marvel Universe!
Al Ewing has demonstrated with his past Marvel work that he has a deep grasp on Marvel lore. You just to have look at his much-acclaimed Immortal Hulk run or his work on Ultimates and Mighty Avengers (anyone who brings back Shuma Gorath knows their stuff). He is therefore a perfect choice for a coordinator for a project of this scale. Ewing provides an excellent framework for the story and lays the ground for the mysterious Eternity Mask which is weaved into the history of Marvel back to the days of the original Human Torch.
But the main attraction of this project is the large group of creators that have participated. With the story largely broken up in to one-page vignettes, all the writers and artists get an even opportunity to shine. Highlights include Kieron Gillen reuniting with his Journey Into Mystery collaborator Doug Braithwaite for a quick return of Kid Loki, Image co-founder/Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen returning to Spider-Man for the first time in over 15 years, Kelly Sue DeConnick revisiting Captain Marvel – the character she helped reach a new level of popularity, classic creative teams reuniting including Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz (Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, Spider-Girl) and Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (Spider-Man Blue, Daredevil Yellow) and some of the top current talents in the industry showing their stuff – including Eduardo Risso, Christian Ward, Donny Cates, Kelly Thompson, Chip Zdarsky, and many more. Especially exciting is a new Miracleman sequence by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham which will help hold over those eagerly anticipating that series’ return.
This is a worthy celebration of Marvel’s 80th birthday and a fantastic showcase of the various creators from the past and present who have helped maintain the Marvel Universe over those years. Packed with a variety of characters, story styles and exclusive extras, this is a collection that belongs on any hardcore Marvel fan’s shelf.
Marvel Comics #1000 is published on 17 March from Marvel (9781302921378, h/b, £20.99)