Today, Marvel Comics is teasing a new event that will be visited on at least
two three four (if not more) of the company’s seminal characters and series – an event that may see Marvel history as we know it “destroyed.”
First up, a cryptic “What If” style graphic was sent out from the folks at Marvel, asking the rather direct question “Who really gave the Fantastic Four their powers?”
The question seems to call into, uh, question the long-established origin story of “Marvel’s First Family” and their acquisition of their powers in a cosmic accident. The Fantastic Four have recently “returned” to the Marvel Universe after making a journey into the multiverse to attempt to save reality; the characters were without a monthly book of their own for a while, but Fantastic Four #1 launched last month and has brought them all back into the routinely-published fold.
The second graphic, sent out by Marvel shortly after the first, is a bit darker in nature. This question is also posed very flatly and directly: “Who Brought the Amazing Spider-Man Back after ‘Spider-Man No More’?”
The question seems to reference the “Spider-Man No More” storyline from The Amazing Spider-Man #s 50-52, originally published way back in 1967. The story, written by the late Stan Lee, saw Spider-Man get fed up with trying to help people in New York and getting nothing but flak from the news outlets and the community. Peter Parker infamously threw his Spider-Man outfit away in a trash can in an alley, but a young kid found it and brought it to the Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. Peter’s crime-fighting absence allowed the Kingpin to rise to a prominent place in the crime syndicate of the city, and even though Peter did go back to being Spider-Man, the face of the Marvel Universe has been irrevocably changed ever since.
Is Marvel changing their history, or is this new story arc going to show us a more “behind-the-scenes” mastermind who has been pulling the strings for decades or longer? What other Marvel mythos may be called into question by this new story arc? Looks like we’ll have to wait at least a few months, until March 2019, for the answers to start to become clear.
UPDATED! Marvel has additionally sent out a third and fourth teaser image, calling into question two more key moments in comics history: