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As Marvel Entertainment celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, the company is taking steps to ensure that newcomers to the comic book mythology won’t be left in the dark, as creators Mark Waid, Javier Rodriguez and Alvaro Lopez will launch an ambitious six-part retelling of the History of The Marvel Universe this summer.
The series is promised to run “from the Big Bang to the twilight of existence” and feature all-new information to explain the definitive version of Marvel’s comic book canon moving forward, including what Marvel describes as “every significant event [and] every fan’s favorite Marvel stories.”
“We’ve seen Marvel histories and Marvel encyclopedias and Marvel handbooks, and I love that stuff. I absorb them like Galactus absorbs planets,” Waid said Wednesday in a statement from the publisher. “This is not that. There’s information here, but there’s also a story. The Marvel Universe is a living thing, it is its own story, and we’re trying to approach it with some degree of heart to find the heart in that story so it doesn’t read like 120 pages of Wikipedia.”
Unlike Marvel’s primary counterpart, DC, the comic book incarnation of the Marvel Universe has, in theory, told one continuous story since its earliest publication, despite multiple minor retcons and rewrites in an attempt to keep the universe contemporary. As a result, any attempt to retell the entire history of Marvel’s comic book universe is at once simpler — there’s only one story to tell, without any do-overs — and more complex, as multiple contradictions may have to be explained, and the sheer volume of material to be covered is greater.
History of the Marvel Universe is set to launch in July.