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Marvel 2099

© Marvel Comics                                            The Future is Written . . .       poster 2099(81663 bytes) 

Or, Maybe, the Future is a blank page.

Either way, in the Fall of 1992, a visionary giant and his enthusiastic cohorts in the Marvel Universe created a new, unwritten future to the delight of a few thousand lovers of both comic books and science fiction. It was a whole new world, created in the mighty Marvel tradition of great stories, interesting characters, and noble quests, but leaving behind the old baggage that the current crop of heroic characters carry along with them in every issue. It was not a "rebirth" as much as a birthing of a new child. A new universe. Full of the possibilities of new discoveries and adventures. And those of us who followed along were treated to the thrill of those new discoveries, a world of untapped potential and a new, often frightening world order.

The opening premise was that the old heroes were gone. Corporate entities had replaced traditional governments in most countries, including the USA. There was an increased stratification of the classes: the low were lost in the canyon depths of colossal buildings, while the upper class literally soared to the heavens. New drugs preyed upon the weak, a hired police force lent their services only to those who could pay. Money was eliminated, technological advances were created but released only if the profit was worth it, no matter how beneficial. The milk of human kindness appeared to have gone sour. These comic books were marching ever deeper into the realm of science fiction, leaving behind the fantasies of the previous generations and creating a fantastic but believable post-apocalyptic Earth bereft of the spandex clad and cliché spouting super heroes of the late 20th century. So it was that we entered the world of  . . . 2099!

There the excitement began. Suddenly, this new world was brightened by the appearance of heroic figures, unknown on this sad planet for countless generations!  Heroes who would protect the oppressed, and nobly fight for justice for all people!  Spider-man! Ravage! The Punisher! And transported from the old world (or, possibly not) Doom! More heroes were to follow, as well as villains new and reborn in their own fashion: Venom! Thor! The Goblin! Ghost Rider! The Fantastic Four! Hulk! X-Men! The new generation of mutant kids, X-Nation! And just as the thrill was peaking, just as the climactic cusp was being breached, the unthinkable happened. The dynamic editor of the line, Joey Cavalieri was suddenly dropped from a shrinking Marvel payroll at the turn of the new year . . . and 1996 dawned with a dire future for the 2099 comics line.

How could 2099 continue without the think tank that spawned such wild creativity? Soon it was apparent that the line wouldn't continue, as individual titles began dropping like flies under the assault of corporate downsizing and profit-line penny-pinching (and impending financial reorganization as Marvel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 1996). The fledgling X-Nation, brimming with mass market appeal in it's young heroes and hot new artist Humberto Ramos lasted only a few issues before being drowned in the "Waterworld" creation of the new editorial helm. The new 2099 pilots had taken too many lessons from the Captain of the Exxon Valdez. A year of 2099: World of Tomorrow ("affectionately" known as WoT) were promised, but the first three issues were so disappointing in story and art, and steep in price, that many of the hardcore 2099 fans left it on the shelves in disgust. Although the later issues improved somewhat, it was a book destined for failure, a book laden with too many characters and not enough story to keep it afloat. It lasted 8 issues, the final chapter being sadly anti-climatic, leaving many unanswered questions, and at the end bearing a terse apology to the 2099 fans from the writing team.

The last 2099 comic to be published was a double sized one shot, written by Ghost Rider 2099 scribe Len Kaminski, called 2099: Manifest Destiny.  It was a story that appeased some of the fans disappointed by the cruel continuity bending of WoT, and it even tied up some of the loose plot threads that had been left dangling.   But it was too lengthy, too filled with massive jumps in time (it ends in the year 3099!), and in the final analysis too little too late, as poor sales certainly buried any chance of the 2099 line ever being revived.  It was the end of the future . . .

The FUTURE of 2099 that you'll Never see . . .   Cheerfully presented by Marvel's 1992 Year in Review

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Series and 1-shots in the 2099 imprint

2099 A.D. May 1995
2099 A.D. Apocalypse
2099 A.D. Genesis
2099 Manifest Destiny
2099 Sketchbook
2099 Unlimited; #1-10
2099 World of Doom Special
2099: World of Tomorrow'; #1-8
Doom 2099; #1-44
Fantastic Four 2099; #1-8
Ghost Rider 2099; #1-25
Hulk 2099; #1-10
Punisher 2099; #1-34
Ravage 2099; #1-33
Spider-man 2099; #1-46
X-Men 2099; #1-35
X-Nation 2099; #1-6
X-Men 2099 Oasis

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