Friday 31st July 2015,
Comic Booked

Marvel’s Next Big Event: Is It Already Underway?

Colin Bell 12/08/2010 Features, ZDONOTUSE

Following the run of stories such as Avengers Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, Secret Invasion, Dark Reign and Siege, Marvel declared ‘No More Events!‘ for 2010, and so far they’ve been pretty good for their word.  But are they gearing the next Marvel crossover right under our noses?  Let’s look at some evidence…

After the finale of Siege at the start of the year, Marvel were pretty adamant that it would be the last ‘major’ crossover event for a while, with the focus for 2010 to be on self-contained events within individual titles, like Daredevil’s Shadowland, or within families of books, such as World War Hulks, which occurred across the Hulk titles this Summer.  So it was an interesting tease when at the end of Captain America Reborn Steve Rogers was given an horrific glimpse of a possible future where his friends were slain and these guys were towering over everyone:

Captain America Reborn #6

Steve Rogers gets a glimpse of the future in Reborn #6

At the time it was a nice enough hint at what was possibly to come in future issues of Ed Brubaker’s ongoing Captain America saga.  But then the creatures cropped up again, this time in Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr’s Avengers (Vol 4) #4:

Thor Vs The Martians

Avengers (Vol 4) #4

And whilst you could argue that they’re not identical, there are some striking similarities – to be fair, you could ask someone to draw ‘a tendrilled creature with lights on its head walking on a tripod‘ and get a hundred different artistic interpretations.  Or, you could just ask for a ‘martian in the vein of H.G. Wells’ sci-fi classic War of The Worlds‘ and get the same result.  And who’s been to Mars recently?  Steve Rogers, with his Secret Avengers.

War of the Worlds martian

A War of the Worlds martian, yesterday.

In Avengers (Vol 4) #4, they were labelled (correctly) by Killraven as Martians, dragged through to present-day Manhattan due to Kang’s meddling with the timestream.  Bendis’ first Avengers arc was full of all kinds of ominous foreshadowing, not in the least this wallchart of the future:

The future of Marvel: all mapped out?

The future of Marvel: all mapped out?

Bendis also dropped hints of bad times to come for Bucky-Cap, Iron Man and the Avengers at large – things couldn’t get much worse for Bucky in Captain America Reborn #6‘s vision where he was (spoilers) back in his Winter Soldier get-up, missing a cybernetic hand and completely skewered dead.

So far, so much potential for coincedence.  Until this week, when Matt Fraction and the ever-awesome Jamie McKelvie dropped this into the back-up in Invincible Iron Man #32:

Invincible Iron Man #32

Pepper meets the Martians, Invincible Iron Man #32

This comes from Pepper Potts (these days going by the name Rescue) and her near-death interaction with her Stark-tech suit’s A.I.   The answer given to her after those panels is an ominous ‘ask Tony Stark’, again tying in with the foreboding from Bendis’ Avengers issue, but it’s also possible this could simply be set-up for Fraction’s promised dystopian take on Tony Stark’s future in the upcoming Invincible Iron Man #500.

It’s also of note that in interview, Joe Quesada revealed that both Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker were present at the regular Avengers retreat, where editors and creative teams come together to plot the course of Earth Mightiest Heroes for the coming years – but since the Avengers books are handled by Brian Michael Bendis, Christos Gage and Ed Brubaker, why would Fraction be present, unless there was some series event coordination to be had with all their respective titles?  Like an epic martian war crossover? As flippant as that sounds, it seems possible that something is brewing over at Marvel these days.  Either that, or everyone’s just started drawing Martian tripods into their comics.

What do you guys think?  Is it all coincidence?  Are these creatures actually Martians?  Is it all leading to something?  Are we clutching at straws?

Sound off in the comments below!

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About The Author

Raised in Scotland on a diet of Tintin and 2000 AD, Colin Jefferson Bell enters his 28th year on Planet Earth as one of the world's foremost experts in comic books that take place in his home country, and maintains his corner of the internet at It's Bloggerin' Time!. Colin Bell appears courtesy of his wife.

  1. -SG- 12/08/2010 at 2:22 pm

    Good pick ups Colin. Great article.

  2. Lex 12/08/2010 at 2:54 pm

    When I saw those robots in Iron Man, I didn't connect them to Martians or the forshadowing in other books (mostly because Iron Man is the only Marvel book I read). But they did look like the same robots from the World's Most Wanted storyline in the strange dream Tony was having while near-death. And both times the robots were colored like Iron Man's armor and the setting was a desert. That dream is what I thought the "Ask Tony" thing refered to, but I'm not sure if he remembers anything from it.

  3. Cliff 12/08/2010 at 5:49 pm

    It goes back even further to Avengers Forever #4 in 1998 that has the time traveling Avengers pop into the very ending of the war.

  4. Jordamus Prime 12/08/2010 at 7:22 pm

    I certainly hope not. Those huge events are a big part of why I don't read alot of the Marvel books anymore. I hate needing to buy 9 books every week to keep up wiht one storyline. I used to be able to fall back on the 'Ultimate' books, but then they did Ultimatum and screwed that up too haha. Make mine DC.

  5. FIRST WAVE 12/08/2010 at 9:34 pm

    Please for the Love God say it's not true!By the way while you are technically correct Shadowland does not "crossover" it is still an event by virtue of other characters coming to it and Shadowland related minis.The same is true of World War Hulks,Chaos War,and everything Avengers or X-Men related these days.In essence Marvel lied and flooded the market with multiple titles anyway which is what everybody has been complaining about in this neck of the woods.This is to the detriment of anything else they try to launch when based on a five issue sink or swim philosophy the axe comes down as in SWORD/Voodoo/Widow 8-issues/Hawkeye.But the fans keep coming back for more of the samo samo.

  6. Moose100 12/08/2010 at 10:41 pm
  7. Comic Booked 12/09/2010 at 8:53 am

    Ughh, I hate having to buy a million books for a story as well. I started Shadowland, and unfortunately dropped it after a few issues. I'm the type of guy that needs EVERYTHING if I get into a storyline. I spent 6 hours and who knows how much on ebay to get all of Civil War. Then did the same with Blackest Night. So, silly me jumps onboard Brightest Day, and got hosed. Now it's much longer run and I'm buying ton of books I would normally never buy, for months. Good times.

    I do have the entire Civil War digital…we should go through it all and create and epic review/feature etc. for the site. I'd say do that for Civil War, Blackest Night, Brightest Day. What am I missing? Secret Invasion? We should still do Shadowland…what else?

  8. Andy Kirby 12/09/2010 at 11:07 am

    Colin, good call on this. In light of the "Architects" announcements Marvel just came out with, we may be looking at a year long set up.

    I for one am happy about this. They take a break from the epic Marvel-spanning crossovers to the event Limited Series that will all eventually culminate to another event. My only beef with this is that we just fought aliens in Secret Invasion. Why are we going to do this again?

    Also, what motivation would Martians have for this, and how could they be that powerful that we couldn't take them down?

    I think that any fan can enjoy this type of thing. Either you jump aboard for the small stuff and leave the big ones for die-hards or really enjoy everything along the way.

    I, for one, appreciate all the planning more than the issue to issue dialog.


  9. mehe 04/16/2011 at 5:19 pm

    Absoultely hilarious reading this article many months later. 2011 – Fear Itself, Thor, Asgardian deities…what martians?

    Marvel Punk'd you big time.

    • Colin Bell 04/17/2011 at 11:11 am

      Woah now, mehe (if that IS your real name) there's still six more issues of Fear Itself to go…

      • Skott of Fables 04/18/2011 at 11:56 am

        Exactly what I was thinking, yes? After all, those hammers came from outer space and we don't know the exact nature of the supposed real All-Father.

        I had thought about this when I saw the hammers flying in from the outer reaches of space…

        Only time will tell. Well, time and Matt Fraction, lol

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