Sunday, 19 January 2014

Clarifying the Timeline of Revolutionary War in the Marvel Universe.

Hi folks,

In my last blog article I went into quite some detail over the first issue of Revolutionary War and how it fitted into Marvel continuity. In particular trying to place the Battle of London Bridge may have occurred, and asking if (as it seemed) Killpower had gotten trapped on the other side of a portal how could he have taken part in the events of Captain Britain & MI13.

Well, on that issue thread we were lucky enough for series co-creator Andy Lanning to have dropped by and clarified a few things about the course of events we are seeing in Revolutionary War. And as it turns out I had the order of events a little skewif in terms of quite where they fit.

I've asked Andy if he'd be okay why my posting his comments up for the rest of you to easier find, and he's said he's okay with that. So here, in his own words, is how things fit.

Wotcha Mark,

Just thought I'd pop in and clarify the confusion about the timeline in Revolutionary War.

I've noticed a few comments about when it is set and probable continuity errors regarding Killpower.
This is a problem facing most creators when dealing with long running continuity in any established comic universe. We had to make a call early on as to when this story was set and how it slotted into on-going story continuity.

I've always tried to respect continuity as much as possible- out of respect for previous creators and for the fans who have been reading a title for a long time.

Sometimes this can be difficult; especially when you want to bring in new readers who may be put off because of the weight of established continuity as well as dealing with the complete illogical nature of story time verses real time.

So, bearing in mind all the above, here’s our approach for revolutionary War:

It’s been 20 years since the last Marvel UK title was published in 1994.

The last time we saw any Marvel UK characters was in Paul Cornell’s excellent Captain Britain & MI13 series which was published in 2008-2009. That’s 5 years ago, real time.

Death’s Head II and other characters have popped up recently in Iron Man and other Marvel titles but MI13 was the last time we saw anything that could be considered ‘Marvel UK’ continuity.

In the Marvel Universe story continuity the events in MI13 were during and after the Skrull Invasion. There’s been a lot of Events in the MU since then but no real sense of how long has passed since the Invasion and now. Just that time has passed because of the changes to various characters in the MU.
We took it that at most 5 years has passed in the MU since the events in MI13 and the start of RW (because this is fact based on real time) but were careful not to be specific as it may cause problems down the line and we want to keep our options open should we get the chance to tell more stories in the MUK Universe (one of which would almost certainly be revisiting the events surrounding the fall of MYSTECH).

During those years, the Battle for London Bridge has taken place and MYSTECH have been defeated, setting the scene for the story we’re telling and the changes in the characters when we meet them now.

It may not be ideal but it’s the best we have and, more importantly, allows us to once and for all establish that the events and characters from Marvel UK take place in the bigger Marvel Universe.
Hope this clears things up.

Thanks for all the support and kind comments

Hope you keep enjoying the story and fingers crossed we get enough buzz from it to do some more in the future!


I hope that helps clear a few things up for folks.

So basically, think of Captain Britain & MI13, with its guest appearances of Motormouth, Killpower, Death's Head, Digitek and Dark Angel as the last Marvel UK story. The flashbacks you are seeing from the Battle of London Bridge happen a while AFTER that. Mys-Tech are taken down, S.H.I.E.L.D. take some element of control, characters get trapped in another dimension, but all some time after that series had concluded.

So, yes, Killpower may well be trapped in another dimension. We'll just have to wait an see... ;)

And I do agree with Andy on this. Story time vs Real Time is a very difficult to balance to strike up. Probably even more so in recent years. Since the end of Secret Invasion really the incredible flow of storylines, crossover Events and status quo changes at Marvel has been much higher than the preceding ten years of comics. With the bulk of Marvel's books also double shipping these past two years that also adds complexity to situation.

Try logically putting a time scale on something like 'Dark Reign' - the period after Secret Invasion where Norman Osborn was given full control of S.H.I.E.L.D., closed it down and replaced it with his own organisation - for example. That period of Marvel status quo lasted for just over a year in publishing time, but even with all the tie-in issues (and there were many) you could probably only truly account for a months worth of actual 'events' in panel. Osborn was clearly in charge for much longer than that, which just kind of shows that any attempts to formulaically measure such things in terms of Real Time is a pretty pointless exercise.

Does it effect the story? No. All you need to know is that Mys-Tech have been gone a long time, and they were defeated a while after Captain Britain & MI13 wrapped.

But, I suppose, for those who absolutely need to place the Battle of London Bridge in amongst all those Marvel status quo periods? Here goes...

Captain Britain & MI13 started during Secret Invasion but wrapped during Dark Reign. Dark Reign ended with Siege, which then began the period of focus upon Heroes coming back, getting together and winning the day named 'The Heroic Age'.

Now it is purely my own opinion here, but a day where all the heroes of Marvel UK got together, in one co-ordinated attack, and took down their greatest enemies once and for all? Well does that just sound in step with the Heroic Age, now? :) It even roughly fits time wise too.

So there you go. No new issue out this week, but I'll be posting up a summary for Revolutionary War: Dark Angel in the week.

Hopefully I'll see you then.

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