Avengers' NEW UNIVERSE Revival: Just the Beginning?
As of the most recent issues, he's also started to introduce elements previously associated with Marvel's "New Universe," specifically Nightmask, Star Brand and the White Event. According to Marvel senior vice president of publishing and Avengers editor Tom Brevoort, this has been motivated completely by the writer himself, rather than Marvel pushing a revival of the concepts.
"It wasn't something that anybody at Marvel especially was looking to do," Brevoort told Newsarama. "This was all really Jonathan."
Following the end of the original books in 1989, the New Universe was touched on in books like Spider-Man 2099, Quasar and the "Starblast" crossover. The most notable revisiting of the concept was newuniversal, a 2007 reboot of the concepts by Warren Ellis and Salvador Larroca. Beyond the six-issue main series, the tie-ins featured some of the first Marvel work from X-Men: Legacy's Simon Spurrier and Iron Man's Kieron Gillen.Formspring, Hickman told a fan that the Ellis-written material "would be plenty" for readers to familiarize themselves with when reading Avengers.
"Certainly [Hickman's] take on the New Universe characters, and what they are how they work, owes much more to Warren's newuniversal than it does to the original New Universe of 1986," Brevoort said. "These are the sorts of stories and storytelling approaches that Jonathan tends to like, and you can tell that by looking at his work. He found things there that he was interested in, and wanted to play with some more, and here was the perfect place to do that."
Despite the acknowledged influence of newuniversal, it's clear that Hickman is doing something new and self-contained with the characters and concepts, even as it's still unfolding. Avengers #8, out this week, looks to provide further details on what the writer has planned, and it appears likely that the announced (but still shrouded in secrecy) Infinity event, also written by Hickman, ties into all of this.Still, Brevoort says he's noticed that the New Universe imagery in Avengers has stuck a chord with fans, even if they weren't necessarily devotees of the original material.
For Brevoort, it's further proof that, no matter how far removed a story or character might be, or whatever its reputation once was, it can still be mined by Marvel for quality material in the present day; pointing to Onslaught's surprise appearance at the end of Uncanny Avengers #4 and the current Scarlet Spider ongoing series as recent examples.
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