Following the massive deluge of teases over the past couple of days, Marvel has finally revealed its big mystery project. As reported in The New York Times, Marvel will unveil Marvel Comics #1000 this August, featuring over 100 creators.
The issue will feature 80 single-page comics, with each page handled by a different creative team. Since this issue marks the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics #1, which was released in 1939, a different year of Marvel’s history will be explored in each comic. Helping helm the massive effort is Al Ewing, who has been garnering praise for his and Joe Bennett’s work on The Immortal Hulk series. Ewing is working on multiple pages for the anniversary special, with several different artists.
Ewing told the Times, “This is the kind of honor that doesn’t really come that often.”
Marvel Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort commented, “This is by far the most complex and complicated and difficult book I’ve ever had to assemble.”
For those of you trying to do the math, you might as well stop. While it has indeed been 80 years since Marvel published Marvel Comics #1 in August 1939, the series was renamed to Marvel Mystery Comics shortly thereafter and the total run was cancelled in 1959. That means it’s been a full 60 years since this run was even in circulation. Despite Marvel introducing its legacy numbering in 2017, it’s not likely that the publisher would have hit 1,000 issues by this point anyway, but it’s not meant to be literal.
“More than anything, it was a symbolic thing,” Brevoort told the Times. Following the mega releases of Action Comics and Detective Comics #1000 over at DC, Marvel obviously wants a piece of that pie.
Marvel has been repeatedly called out this week for failing to involve a diverse roster of creators on this book. The creative teams are dominated by men, which is odd considering the impact of women on the history of Marvel, from Joan Lee to Flo Steinberg to Marie Severin. G. Willow Wilson, Stephanie Hans, Mariko Tamaki, Magdalene Visaggio, Leah Williams, Nnedi Okorafor, Roxane Gay, and Seanan McGuire are all creators contributing to the current Marvel tapestry, but are nowhere to be found in this issue. Furthermore, there are no non-binary creators included in this collection, despite writer Vita Ayala producing the Age of X-Man: Prisoner X mini-series and single issues for Marvel this year.
As to newcomers to the House of Ideas, like Taboo and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Marvel’s editor in chief C.B. Cebulski said that these creators have made Marvel references in the past, which is why they were brought on board. He said, “Our characters are mentioned in so many different ways and in so many different mediums and we always keep track. Now these distinguished individuals are able to contribute back to the comics they grew up on.”
While that’s well and good, the fact remains that Marvel had an opportunity to feature even more diverse voices for this milestone celebration issue and they botched it.
Take a look at the Alex Ross cover below. The giant Marvel Comics #1000 anniversary issue will hit shelves this August.