Time Runs Out – the Conclusion of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers (and the Marvel Comics Universe)

It was the spark that started the fire – a legend that grew in the telling.

At the beginning, it was an origin story. The rebuilding of the Avengers. The reconvening of the Illuminati. And with overtones reaching back to the beginning of the Marvel Universe.

The left is from Avengers - the right is from New Avengers. Also on http://comparativegeeks.tumblr.com/

The left is from Avengers – the right is from New Avengers.
Also on http://comparativegeeks.tumblr.com/

At the end, it’s the mirror of that story. The collapse of the Avengers. The Illuminati replaced by the Cabal. The end of the Marvel Universe.

Jonathan Hickman’s run writing Avengers and New Avengers has been a blast. I’ve blogged about it a good deal because it’s one of the main comics I have been following on a regular basis – although I have stepped down to reading it in the trade paperbacks/collected digital volumes. That said, I am here now because these two comics just released their last trade last week – the end of the four-trade, two-title saga called Time Runs Out, which led directly to the current Marvel Secret Wars and which ended the Marvel Comics Universe in a very real way.

Yes, it’s comics, it’ll probably come back. Still, for now, es ist kaput.

So how did we get there? Even if the why of the universe ending was corporate and marketing and business, the mechanism that got us there took about 100 comics. So what happened? Why did time run out?

A Quick Rundown of Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers

To make this a quick rundown, I am going to be sourcing things out to previous posts I have written. In these posts, I have a number of screencaps from the comics with some further explanation of things so it’s not just me I’m referring to, it’s the comics themselves.

At their heart, these were two parallel and competing stories. In Avengers, as in the image above, it’s a bit of a reboot/reforming of the Avengers team. A fresh start, a new beginning. With an expectation of greater threats: with a need for a bigger team. So an origin story of sorts there. Meanwhile, new “villains” (many of whom end up new Avengers), new problems, and new versions of “old” heroes – like a female Smasher and a new Hyperion. Meanwhile, with the larger backdrop of the villains and the big fight to come (Infinity, which I blogged in three parts), there is a larger narrative and origin story of the whole universe. Callbacks to a narrative of, essentially, the big bang.

In New Avengers, that story becomes one of universal death. Of the opposite of the big bang: a big collapse, with the whole universe collapsing at once. Which they get to see happening, multiple times: the entire multiverse (multiple universes) is collapsing, universe by universe dying. I included Mister Fantastic’s excellent explanation in my original review.

Thus, the dual character of life, and death, between the two stories, which I have found really cool, and which I talked about as one of the great themes in Hickman’s comics in generalContinue reading

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#SummerofSandman — Because #EndlessSummer is Taken Already

Just in case you missed this last week.

Comparative Geeks

Sandman covers by Dave McKean. Collage discovered at The Book Wars Sandman covers by Dave McKean. Collage discovered at The Book Wars

Diana, David, Holly and I started discussing a run of Sandman posts for Comparative Geeks back in February, and those are coming soon.  Since we’re publishing so many Sandman posts this summer, here’s an introduction to the series for those of you who haven’t read it yet.

The Sandman is a comics series by Neil Gaiman with various artists published by DC Vertigo between 1987 and 1996. It defies categorization. Fantasy-Horror-Supernatural epic is the best I can do for a descriptive label. The original run was 75 issues. It spawned various spinoffs, derivative works, etc.

Dream of the Endless, known to the Romans as Morpheus, is the central character. He is one of seven anthropomorphic personifications. He has two older siblings – Destiny and Death – and four younger ones – Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium. The Endless are…

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Weekend Music: Smoke+Mirrors

Video

Our Great and Powerful Blogging A to Z Theme Reveal will run Sunday so as to be here when people who live in the Pacific start hitting the list. I’ll stick it to the top of the front page before the Monday post runs.

That is all.

– Thanks to Comparative Geeks for the video, and to David for all the posts!

First Impression – Dragon Age: Inquisition… but mostly Dragon Age Keep

Just putting this here to welcome CompGeeks back from vacation, and because I love me some reviews.

Comparative Geeks

Hi all! (Will get to Dragon Age in just a couple paragraphs…) Good to be back from vacation. We had a fun time, but it was a long time and it’s good to be home. We tried to keep up on comments over time, so hopefully we didn’t miss any – let me know in the comments below if you’re looking to hear from us about something!

Also a thank you to our guest posts last week – two from Comparative Geeks guest-bloggers AC Powers, about ethics in medicine research, and about gaming immersion. Then a guest post from a new guest here, Hannah Givens from the excellent blog Things Matter. She wrote about Ms. Marvel, which I read the first volume of while traveling – great stuff, and great post!

Dragon Age InquisitionThe thing I was most excited about with coming home was Dragon Age: Inquisition

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