See How It Began With History Of The Marvel Universe #1
by Josh Davison
[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
We turn to the end of all things, where Franklin Richards and Galactus await the final breaths of our universe. All that remains is for Galactus himself to disperse his energies so that the new universe may be born. Franklin is afraid that he will forget Galactus in the universe to come, so he asks Galactus to transcribe the history of our universe, starting at the beginning, when Galan of Taa escaped the previous universe as the first cosmic beings, the “Abstracts” are born.
History of the Marvel Universe #1 lives up to its name; it is a truncated history of the Marvel Universe. It charts the birth and formation of many of the Abstracts, Celestials, and Elders of the universe. It follows the birth of the Kree, Skrull, Brood, Inhumans, Shi’ar, Asgardians, Olympians, Eternals, Deviants, Atlanteans, and mutants. Villains born in the long-ago past such as Apocalypse, the Sphinx, Thanos, Fin Fang Foom, and Rama-Tut.
As such, it is definitely an info-dump of a comic. The narrative is thread-bare, even if the framing is appealing for the longtime Marvel fan.
All of that sounds pretty damning, and the comic does feel like a bit of a drag in parts, but there is something fairly charming in just how unabashedly insane it is. Things just sort of occur without reason, and there’s no guarantee that it will relate to a previous plot point or established concept. Individual reasons are given for each occurence, and some do call back to previous things like the Nova Corps forming in response to the Shi’ar Empire’s expansion. However, it largely comes out like a chaotic explosion of creation–sorta like the real creation of Marvel.
Javier Rodríguez may have been the perfect choice for this venture, as his art style has a strong Jack Kirby-esque vibe to it. Heavy brows, particle effects, and muscular figures adorn much of the book. His color art is explosive and vibrant, much like that of a Jack Kirby comic. The inking of Álvaro López compliments it well with heavy and defined lining.
History of the Marvel Universe #1 is an appealing trek through the formation of the Marvel Universe as we know it. It is very wordy, and there’s not much of a narrative throughline. However, it is fun to see all of these plot threads brought together and made into a semi-coherent history. This one gets a recommendation. Feel free to pick it up.
History of the Marvel Universe #1 comes to us from writer Mark Waid, artist and color artist Javier Rodríguez, inker Álvaro López, letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, cover artist Steve McNiven with Mark Farmer and Sunny Gho, and variant cover artists Nick Bradshaw with John Rauch; John Buscema with Jason Keith; David Marquez with Matthew Wilson; and Javier Rodríguez with Álvaro López.
Final Score: 7/10