New York Comic-Con 2009

NYCC '09: The Marvels Project

Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting explore the early years of the Marvel Universe from a never before seen perspective

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By Kiel Phegley Even the deepest, darkest secrets can only be kept for so long. For the Marvel Universe, the shadowy secrets behind its true origins took 70 years to come to light, courtesy of Eisner-winner Ed Brubaker and his long-standing artistic partner Steve Epting. Today at New York Comic-Con, Marvel announced that the pair would spend 2009 leading the charge of the company's 70th anniversary in the form of an eight-issue series titled THE MARVELS PROJECT. "It's a modern day retelling of the origin story of the Marvel Universe," Brubaker explains. Taking place between 1938 and 1942, the comic centers on the unknown connections between Marvel's biggest Golden Age heroes and how their creation still impacts Marvels characters today. "What I'm trying to do is tell the story in a way where it feels like it fits with the Marvel Universe and ties into the Marvel Universe that exists today." THE MARVELS PROJECT features Captain America, the original android Human Torch and Namor, the Sub-Mariner in significant roles with multitudes of semi-forgotten Marvel heroes along for the ride including the original Angel. However, rather than rehash the scenes fans already associate with these characters, the writer promises that he and Epting will unveil hidden threads in the whole Marvel Universe by looking at the true powers behind the super powers. "My main mandate to myself in this project is to try to tell the definitive version of this story and bring it all together into one big epic that all makes sense being in the same book," Brubaker continue. "Something that feels like one story instead of just going, 'And here's this guy's origin. And this guy's origin too!' I want it to feel like a story that makes sense. "You've got this pre-war America as the setting for the whole story, and it's really interesting," he adds, explaining that the real life intelligence community built by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave him an outlet into a bigger story involving America's super soldier arms race with the Axis powers. "One of our opening scenes is FDR getting a secret intelligence briefing on a yacht, and it's about the experiment that's creating the Human Torch. Basically, the Nazis are closer than them [to creating a super powered solider], and that's one of the reasons why the Human Torch is allowed to be leaked to the press. The guy who created the Human Torch doesn't even know that the shell company funding his experiment is actually run by the government. He thinks he's trying to create artificial life, and he's really working for the government." With sinister experiments, attempted assassinations and the secret project that gives the series its name all swirled into one story, Brubaker and Epting find themselves in the kind of realistic milieu that marked their success on CAPTAIN AMERICA, but to Brubaker the most important element of his spy-filled story stands the fact that all the elements were in the original books waiting to be mined. "I'm trying very hard not to tread over ground that's been tread over 100 times before and trying not to look at it as a giant retcon but instead as a reinterpreting of this whole era as if it's a legend being retold in a way," the writer says. "This is about the science race to create super humans. That's not even something I'm bringing to it. It's just something I'm highlighting because if you look back on what is referred to as the canon origin of the Marvel Universe, it is a big espionage story." And while working on the limited series will keeps Epting from contributing to the interiors of CAPTAIN AMERICA, Brubaker promises that the artist will prove as passionate about the Golden Age heroes as he has anything in his career, especially when it comes to laying down the definitive look of characters long in limbo. "Seeing Steve redesign the look of these old characters is cool," Brubaker professes. "I think it's going to be a really, really cool project. I don't think I've been as excited about any project I've worked on at Marvel except maybe the first issue of [CAPTAIN AMERICA] I got to write. You look at these icons, and it's amazing to be able to go back and tell this story. This is a story that has never been told, and we're going to tell it. The closest you can get is that first issue of MARVELS, and even that is approaching it from a completely different point of view and story structure and tone." For all the latest news, announcements and interviews, plus live panel blogging, video features and much more, visit Marvel.com's NYCC 2009 Hub Page! Also, be sure to check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Check out the official Marvel Shop for the best mighty Marvel merchandise! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" now on iTunes!

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16 comments
John_Holstein
John_Holstein

Could some of those SCIENCE SPAWNED ZOMBIES be the result of FAILED SUPER-SOLDIER PROGRAMS?PROFESSOR MALUSKI[Mystic Comics#1(3/1940)Blue Blaze story];DOCTOR BRUNO VAROZ[Marvel Mystery Comics#10(8/1940)Electro story];PETER ANZEL[Captain America Comics#50(10/1945)Captain America story];and possibly PRINCE ITOR[Marvel Mystery Comics#21(7/1941)Human Torch story].

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

DOCTOR ERIC KARLIN[Daring Mystery Comics#8(1/1942)Blue Diamond story--created SUPER-STRONG Aborigines];DOCTOR BOTAN[All-Winners Comics#13(fall/1944)Captain America story--created Plant beings];DOCTOR RHONIK[Marvel Mystery Comics#20(6/1941)Vision story--created FLORUS H0M0---look him at the Appendix[ www.marvunapp.com ]]; and possibly the PLANT MONSTERS[Marvel Mystery Comics#26(12/1941)Vision story].

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

These characters could have been GOVERNMENT FUNDED:LORD OF DEATH[ http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix5/lordofdeathca.htm ]--mutated men into the HOLLOWMEN using his DI-NAMO FLUID:perhaps the SHOCKER[ http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix5/shockerma.htm ] was his lab partner.Maybe BARON VON BLITZSCHLAG[Avengers:The Initiative#1(4/07)] volunteered to go to the U.S. because he suspected the full potential of the DI-NAMO FLUID for gaining SUPER-POWERS,and perhaps 2 HOLLOWMEN mutated into ANIMUS[ http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix2/animushatemonger.htm ] and HEADLOK[ http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix5/headloksingleton.htm ];DOCTOR CRIME[Captain America Comics#12(3/1942)/All-Winners Comics#7(win/1942-1943)Captain America stories--created SHRINKING FORMULA ];

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

These characters could have gotten GOVERNMENT FUNDING too:PROFESSOR BARZAK--shrinking formula[ Marvel Mystery Comics#6(4/1940)"The Shrinking Spy"(text story--vs. reporter Randy Hayes )];DOCTOR DILL[Sub-Mariner Comics#31(4/1949)Sub-Mariner story--created GROWTH SERUM in this story--old foe of Namor in unwritten stories];PROFESSOR GRIMM[Marvel Mystery Comics#90(2/1949)Human Torch & Sungirl story---created GROWTH SERUM];PROFESSOR DORN[Marvel Mystery Comics#23(9/1941)Sub-Mariner story--genetically engineered PSEUDO-SUB-MARINERS out of escaped prisoners(5 of them )];PROFESSOR DRAKLA[Miss America Comics#1(1944)Miss America story--created MONSTERMEN];DORK[Daring Mystery Comics#5(6/1940)Fiery Mask story--genetically engineered a 20' tall ape ];DOCTOR MANYAC[ Marvel Mystery Comics#4(2/1940)Human Torch story--created the GREEN FLAME and GREEN FLAME OUTFITS(5 of them )];DOCTOR DESTINY[Captain America Comics#20(11/1942)Captain America story--created the CLAMMY THINGS];DOCTOR NARR[Daring Mystery Comics#5(6/1940)Marvex story--created ROBOTS];

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

THE AXIS PROJECT:CELL-MEN[Captain America Comics#38(5/1944)Captain America story]. JELLYMEN[Marvel Mystery Comics#31(5/1942)Vision story]. INSECTS OF SUDDEN DEATH[Marvel Mystery Comics#31(5/1942)Patriot story]. HEAD[Young Allies Comics#12(spr/1944)Young Allies story]. APE-MEN[Marvel Mystery Comics#34(8/1942)Patriot story--created by Japanese scientist who turns into a Lizard ]. CORPSE[Young Allies Comics#15(spr/1945)Young Allies story]. SHARK-MAN[Kid Komics#4(spr/1944)Sub-Mariner story]. STEEL MONSTERS( robot army )[ http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix4/madmechanicya.htm ].. METAL MEN/METAL MONSTERS[Marvel Mystery Comics#41(3/1943)Sub-Mariner story]. DOCTOR AGONY[ http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix4/dragonycapam.htm ]. BLACK CARLO[USA Comics#3(1/1942)Captain Terror story]. "ROBOT"[Mystic Comics vol.2#4(3/1945)Destoyer story--"Robot Revenge"]. FLYING CORPSES[Marvel Mystery Comics#30(4/1942)Patriot story---created by DOCTOR STRASSER ]. ARMY OF ZOMBIES[Marvel Mystery Comics#28(2/1942)Angel story---created by GENERAL HENCHEL].

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

THE AXIS PROJECT:STONE-MAN[ All-Winners Comics#6(fall/1942)Destroyer story--created by PROFESSOR SCHULTZ--scientist/sculptor & possible creator of the SCULPTURE mentioned in A-Z Handbook#12(2006) under Arnim Zola ]. DOCTOR TOGU/THE VAMPIRE[All-Winners Comics#5(sum/1942)Captain America story--world's greatest Master of Occult medicine ]. MATSU[All-Winners Comics#1(sum/1941)Human Torch story---Hypnotic abilities( but could be turned into the male version of LADY LOTUS--plus he could be related to her and she could have pulled a MULAN in this story )]. VULTURE & BATMEN/HUMAN BATS[ All-Select Comics#1(fall/1943)Captain America story]. FIDDLER[Captain America Comics#7(10/1941)Captain America story] and VEILED VIOLINIST[Human Torch Comics#5(fall/1941)Patriot story]. THE SORCERER/MYSTO THE MAGICIAN[All-Winners Comics#4(spr/1942)Captain America story]. PYTHON[Sub-Mariners Comics#2(sum/1941)Angel & Sub-Mariner][Marvel Mystery Comics#25(11/41)Angel][Human Torch Comics#8(sum/1942)Human Torch & Sub-Mariner][Young Allies Comics#10(win/1943-1944)Young Allies story]. ARMLESS TIGERMAN[Marvel Mystery Comics#26(12/1941)Angel story]. NAZOMBIES[Human Torch Comics#5(sum/1941)Angel & Sub-Mariner---their unnamed leader could be IZAN( Timely Comics' Baron Zemo )[Marvel Mystery Comics#28(2/1942)Human Torch story][Captain America Comics#23(2/1943)Captain America story] or Arnim Zola or Baron Heinrich Zemo--who could have used a proto-type Ionic Ray Machine to created them]. ZOMBIE MASTER[Sub-Mariner Comics#13(spr/1944)Sub-Mariner story ]. HANS/MONSTER[Captain America Comics#45(3/1945)Captain America story]. FIRE-GOD[All-Winners Comics#11(win/1943-1944)Captain America story]. SEVEN SONS OF SATAN[Captain America Comics#37(4/1944)Captain America story---who could learn that they can also merge into a single being as well as grow new bodies for their dead brothers]. WHITE MONSTER[Complete Comics#2(win/1944)Young Allies story]. KILLER DOGS/KILLER BEASTS[USA Comics#8(5/1943)Captain America Comics#8(5/1943)Captain America story]. SEA MONSTERS[All-Select Comics#2(win/1943-1944)Sub-Mariner story--created by a Japanese scientist ].

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

Instead of NICK FURY(who was not a spy in the late 1930s or 1940s ) you could have used SGT.DIX[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/dix.html ] who is in Military Intelligence or MARK MASON,O.S.S. agent in All-Select Comics#11(fall/1946)"Scarlet Scorpion"[ http://www.atlastales.com/sI/135 ]making him and the PHANTOM active during WW2 since the O.S.S. disbanded after WW2 ended in 1945[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Strategic_Services ] or you could have used JERRY ALTON( called the SECRET SOLDIER in the Title )[Daring Mystery Comics#4(5/1940)Trojak story;brother of Edith Alton---love interest of TROJAK ] or you could have used X-13[Captain America Comics#1(3/1941)Captain America's TRUE ORIGIN ]and she could BE NAMED AFTER another SIMON/KIRBY character---actor DON DARING whose stunt double was Fred Drake/STUNTMAN[ http://ratmmjess.tripod.com/gold/page.html ] and X-13's REAL NAME could be DAWN DARING. I know SGT.DIX doesn't have a cool name like SGT.FURY,SGT.ROCK or SGT.STERN( Bill Stern )[Marvel Mystery Comics#3(1/1940) WW1 text story "Siegfried Suicide" ]but SGT.DIX is a REAL GOLDEN AGE character and THEY SHOULD BE USED BEFORE any MARVEL AGE WW2 character.There isn't a MARVEL AGE WW2 or PRESENT DAY character that I can't find a TIMELY COMICS CHARACTER to take HIS/HER place:I see X-13 as a GOLDEN AGE Agent 13/SHARON CARTER,JERRY ALTON/SECRET SOLDIER as a GOLDEN AGE RICK MASON/THE AGENT,THE COMMANDOS[Captain America Comics#14(5/1942) text story--British unit ] as a GOLDEN AGE HOWLING COMMANDOS,LIANG[Captain America Comics#6(9/1941)Captain America vs. Fang story---LIANG death could be a lie to keep HATCHET-MEN out of the Hospital] as a GOLDEN AGE SHANG-CHI,etc.

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

POWERHOUSE PEPPER[Joker Comics#1(4/1942)] could be a U.S. Government agent since this site[ http://ratmmjess.tripod.com/gold/page.html ] says that he is a U.S. MARSHALL.I don't know what his origin is but I do know he has SUPER STRENGTH and DURABILITY[ seen here http://www.toonopedia.com/p-pepper.htm ]. I would reveal that POWERHOUSE PEPPER's comic book stories are based on his real Marvel Earth adventures and that his real MARVEL EARTH appearance is in the SILVER SCORPION story [COMEDY COMICS#9(4/1942) page 1 panel 2( a attractive Bald Man is seen )] reprinted in MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS#1(12/1999). Any NAZIS that POWERHOUSE PEPPER is seen trading punches with can give MASTERMAN a real TIMELY COMICS appearance.Plus any extra SUPER STRONG NAZI can be turned into the human version of SUPER NAZI( the original was a Nazi Pig enemy of SUPER RABBIT ---sorry Mikel Midnight's site doesn't say what issue he is found in ).

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

Since Ed Brubaker's plan is to reveal that the U.S. Government secretly funded the creation of the Original Human Torch,here are some other characters on and possibly not on Mr.Brubaker's list.DYNAMIC MAN[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/dynamic.html ].ELECTRO[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/electro.html ]--Electro has at least 3 other Robot Bodies.Rudy[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/rudy.html ].FLEXO[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/flexo.html ].TOP[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/top.html ].INVISIBLE MAN[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/invisible.html ]---his immunity to fire could be an evidence that he has an INVISIBLE FORCE FIELD.CAPTAIN WONDER[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/wonder.html ].TERROR[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/theterror.html ].DANGER TWINS[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/tough.html ].HERCULES[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/hercules.html ].MICROMAN[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/microman.html ]--this story could have happen much earlier---1930s?GARY GAUNT/THROWBACK---the Timely Comics Bruce Banner/Hulk[ http://www.comics.org/details.lasso?id=2182#9 ] and the similar DOCTOR WEEMS/GRINNER[ http://www.comics.org/details.lasso?id=1843#10 ]--Black Marvel story.VOLTON[ http://www.geocities.com/ratmmjess/volton.html ][ http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/v/volton.htm ]--his real name is not Guy Newton,see [ http://ratmmjess.tripod.com/gold/page.html ]--Guy Newton is the Original Volton[ http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/v/volton1 ].

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

PROFESSOR ALBERT HORTON's [Marvel Mystery Comics#92(6/1949)first name given here] experiment that created the Original HUMAN TORCH being linked to the U.S. Government puts a new twist on the HUMAN TORCH's friend JOHNSON[ see the Marvel Mystery Comics#4(2/1940) reprint in MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS 70th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL#1(7/2009)].I can't tell what branch of law-enforcement JOHNSON is in,but he did inspire the Original HUMAN TORCH to give himself a real name( JIM HAMMOND ) and possibly to join the New York Police Department( giving the U.S. Government links to the TORCH ).JOHNSON is also found in Marvel Mystery Comics#2(12/1939),5(3/1940),7(5/1940)--Human Torch stories.

John_Holstein
John_Holstein

You can thank JOE SIMON/JACK KIRBY[ see Captain America's TRUE ORIGIN in CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS#1(3/1941) page 5 panel 5( Behold!The crowning achievement of all my years of hard work!THE FIRST OF A CORPS OF SUPER-AGENTS whose mental and physical ability will make them a terror to spies and saboteurs!) page 5 panel 6(WE SHALL CALL YOU CAPTAIN AMERICA,son!Because,like you--America shall gain the strength and will to safeguard our shores!)---says PROFESSOR REINSTEIN( his real name---"Erskine" is the corny Code-Name )---this is backed up by TIMELY COMICS other SUPER-AGENTS:the FIN[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/fin.html ],EXCELLO[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/excello.html ]and the FIGHTING YANK[ http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/f/fightingyanktimely.htm ].Plus possible U.S. government agents the DEFENDER and RUSTY[ http://www.geocities.com/jjnevins/defender.html ] and J.M. DeMatteis[ see DEFENDERS#126(12/83) the OLYMPUS PROJECT--page 16 panel 1( which was dedicated to the development of a new breed of superhuman answerable directly to the President of the United States.]. See I never bought CAPTAIN AMERICA's modern UNIVERSAL SOLDIER origin because it never made any sense.In a WORLD OF SUPER-BEINGS the last thing any GOVERNMENT would do is create a bunch of UNIVERSAL SOLDIERS.EVERY GOVERNMENT would want their own SUPER-POWERED AGENTS[ see here for the last time I pointed this out ( http://www.marvel.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=136701 ) posted 10.16.2008 under Avengers/Invaders ]

jacenskylo
jacenskylo

Does anyone know when this miniseries will start coming out cause this sounds as good if not better than Ed's run On Cap?

mfrogue13
mfrogue13

Hey Marvel, you guys should really consider putting together an app for the iphone/touch, that be great to browse weekly releases or other news/events/catologs. (perhaps even one for digital comics?)

claudio_pahl
claudio_pahl

It´ll be great ! For the Marvel´s anniversary is fantastic project and Ed and Steve will rock!