Secret History of the Universe: Part Eight

1980-1999




DISCLAIMER: This timeline won’t necessarily reflect what you’re used to in your history books, your literature, your films, your television shows or your comic books. Because this is what really happened...
1980

Drug trafficker Tony “Scarface” Montoya began building his criminal empire in and around Miami, Florida.

Scientists from International Genetic Technologies (InGen) secretly began developing a dinosaur breeding program. Their cover story was that they were genetically engineering the dinosaurs from DNA fragments recovered from dinosaur blood found in mosquitos trapped for millions of years inside fossilized amber. In reality, the dinosaur DNA had been recovered from more recent samples found in the “Forbidden Valley” of northern Mexico, where dinosaurs had not gone extinct until the early 20th century.

Harold “Happy” Hogan and his wife Virginia (who no longer went by the nickname “Pepper”) were now living in Cleveland, Ohio, where Happy had found factory work. They adopted a newborn baby daughter and named her Jennifer. (As she grew, though, her freckles and red hair reminded them so much of Virginia that they would end up nicknaming her “Pepper.”) Times were hard for the growing family, as Happy had trouble holding down a job, and Virginia resented having to support the family doing secretarial work. This, plus the burden of being new parents, added strain to their already struggling marriage.

Learning of the “success” that S.T.A.R. Labs had achieved in surgically implementing Omni Consumer Products’ military-grade cybernetic prosthetics with teenager Victor Stone, OCP executive Henry Heywood, Jr. (age 39) secretly began using the same technology to give his own teenage son, Henry “Hank” Heywood III (b. 1965), a series of unnecessary surgeries in order to make cybernetic enhancements.

January 1980

Silver St. Cloud briefly returned to Bruce Wayne’s life while organizing a convention in Boston. St. Cloud was injured by the convention’s leader when she discovered a plot to assault the city. After the plot was thwarted by Batman, Wayne and St. Cloud briefly rekindled their romance.

Using Cerebro, the X-Men detect two new mutants (Homo sapiens superior) in the United States: one in New York City and one in Deerfield, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). The X-Men were unaware that the Hellfire Club was spying on them and sought to recruit these new mutants for themselves. By the time Professor X (Charles Xavier, age 45), Wolverine (Logan, age 87), Storm (Ororo Munroe, age 28) and Colossus (Piotr “Peter” Rasputin, age 18) arrived in Deerfield to recruit Katherine “Kitty” Pryde (b. January 1966) to Xavier’s school, the Pryde household had already been visited by Ms. Emma Frost (a.k.a. “The White Queen” of the Hellfiore Club, age 28), headmistress of the private Massachusetts Academy. Kitty found Xavier’s crew much more interesting, especially Ororo, with whom she formed an instant bond. When the X-Men were then captured by the White Queen’s minions, Kitty was able to call the other X-Men for help.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Cyclops (Scott Summers, age 32), Phoenix (Jean Grey, age 32) and Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner, age 21) discovered that the other mutant was nightclub singer Alison Blaire (a.k.a. “Dazzler,” b. 1957), who could convert sound into light. After being attacked by the minions of the Hellfire Club, they received the message from Kitty that their teammates had been captured. Explaining to Blaire that she was a mutant, she agreed to help them. When they reached Illinois, they rescued Kitty Pryde, who was being pursued by the Hellfire Club, then broke into the Frost International warehouse where their friends were being held. With the help of the two new mutants, they freed the other X-Men. During the entire evening, however, the Hellfire ally Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde) continued to manipulate Jean Grey's mind, slowly making her lose touch with reality.

The next morning, the X-Men returned Kitty Pryde to her parents. Although they had been worried and blamed Xavier, Phoenix (Jean Grey) used her telepathic powers to change their minds so that they would allow Kitty to attend Xavier's school. However, Alison Blaire declined an invitation to the school, saying that she wanted to continue to pursue her singing career. [X-Men #129-131]

The Thing (Ben Grimm), Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) and the Invisible Girl (Susan Storm Richards) were all aged and then de-aged by Skrull technology, with the net effect of each of them becoming biologically approximately 14 years younger.

On Sunday, January 27, the six American diplomats who had avoided capture at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran managed to escape from Iran after 79 days in hiding. Joined by CIA agent Tony Mendez, they posed as a Canadian film crew to sneak out of the country.

February 1980

Jennifer Walters (b. 1951), the cousin of Dr. Bruce Banner (a.k.a. the Hulk, b. 1936), was a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California. When she defended someone who had been framed by crime boss Nicholas Trask, he had his men shoot and seriously wound her. Banner happened to be visiting at the time. Unable to get her medical help in time, he performed a blood transfusion himself, using his own blood since they both had the same rare blood type. As she shared a similar DNA profile to her cousin, his gamma radiation-infused blood, combined with her anger at her attackers, transformed Jennifer into the green-skinned “She-Hulk” when the mobsters appeared at the hospital to try to finish her off.

Oliver Queen (Green Arrow, age 38) began a relationship with Sandra Moonday Hawke (age 25), daughter of Korean War veteran Nathan Hawke (age 49).

During his re-election campaign, U.S. Senator Robert Kelly began speaking about mutants (Homo sapiens superior) as a security risk for America.

March 1980

Silver St. Cloud discovered that she had become pregnant with Bruce Wayne’s child. Fearing for her safety and the safety of her child, she again left Boston. Wayne would support her financially, but ultimately chose his crime-fighting career as Batman over having a family.

After learning the truth about the cycle of Ragnarök, Thor confronted the Celestials in combat for the fate of Earth, but was easily defeated by them. However, his mother Gaea appeared and presented twelve mortals gathered from the past millennium to the Fourth Host, representing the finest examples of humanity: Kiana from Alaska, Bridgit O’Hare from Ireland, Mira from Ruk Island, Gregor Buhkarov from Russia, Chandra Ku from Africa, Catherine Moranis from Ottawa, Raoul Hernando from Colombia, Mark Cadmon from Chicago, Jawaharel Patel from India, Jason Kimball from New York, Carter Dyam from Israel, and Chi Lo from Japan. Based on these examples, the Celestials judged in favor of humanity. [Thor #300]

The X-Men confronted the Hellfire Club in Manhattan, but were defeated. However, Wolverine was not captured and stealthily worked his way through the building in an attempt to free his comrades. Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde) now had Jean Grey completely under his mental control, and she joined the inner circle of the Hellfire Club as their new “Black Queen.” Hours later, just as Wolverine reached the inner chamber, Jean Grey broke free of Wyngarde's mental control. However, she had now lost control of the Phoenix Force inside of her and gave into the dark side of her personality that Wyngarde had awakened: the “Dark Phoenix.” She turned on her X-Men teammates, then flew off into space. [X-Men #132-135]

On March 20, Mount St. Helens in Washington state experienced a magnitude 4.2 earthquake, and on March 27, the volcano started venting steam. This was the first sign of the pending major eruption that would occur in May.

April 1980

Now free of the Hellfire Club’s mind control, Jean Grey gave into the dark side of her personality that had been awakened by Mastermind: the “Dark Phoenix.” She turned on her X-Men teammates, then flew off into space. Ending up in the D’Bari system, part of the Shi’ar Empire in the nearby Triangulum Galaxy, she then feasted on the system’s star, causing it to go nova and obliterating all of the living creatures on the planet D’Bari. This atrocity was is witnessed by a Shi’ar flagship and reported back to Empress Lilandra. [X-Men #135]

Throughout April, Mount St. Helens continued to experience activity and by the end of the month, the north side of the volcano had started to bulge.

When his old friend Ron Evers attempted to use Victor Stone’s troubles to manipulate him into participating in a terrorist attack on the United Nations, Victor found a new purpose in life. He equipped his weapons attachments and stopped his friend in a pitched battle on top of United Nations Headquarters. At that point, he decided to use his abilities to fight crime, and adopted the alias “Cyborg.”

On April 24, a failed rescue attempt for the U.S. hostages in Iran resulted in the deaths of eight American servicemen, one Iranian civilian and the destruction of two aircraft.

May 1980

Intrigued by the artificial planet “Counter-Earth,” which the High Evolutionary had created in the early 1970s, the powerful, extradimensional Beyonders took the planet and placed it in a pocket universe of their own creation. This left the the High Evolutionary despondent and suicidal. [Marvel Two-In-One #63]

Jean Grey returned to Earth, and this time her friends were able to appeal to her better nature and help her regain control. However, the Shi’ar Empire was already mobilizing to take the Phoenix into custody for the destruction of the planet D’Bari and the murder of its citizens. [X-Men #136]

On May 18, a second earthquake of magnitude 5.1 triggered a massive eruption (24 megatons of thermal energy) of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. The entire north face of the mountain collapsed, and ash erupted vigorously for more than nine hours. The eruption killed 57 people and nearly 7,000 big game animals, and flattened hundreds of square miles of vegetation and buildings.

The eruption of Mount St. Helens jarred loose the ancient Cybertronian spacecraft that had been buried deep beneath the earth for the past 3.8 million years. Over the next several months, the ship’s computers would go through a series of fail-safe procedures, reboot, and then indiscriminately begin repairing the robots aboard—Autobot and Decepticon alike.

June 1980

Jean Grey and the X-Men were teleported onto Empress Lilandra’s flagship, where the charge of genocide was presented against Grey, and she was given a death sentence. However, Charles Xavier challenged Lilandra to Arin’n Haelar, a Shi’ar duel of honor that cannot be refused. After conferring with the Kree and Skrull Empires, Lilandra ceded to Xavier’s demand and the contest was scheduled. The following morning, the X-Men met the Shi’ar Imperial Guard in the Blue Area of Earth’s Moon to decide Jean Grey’s fate. The X-Men were losing the contest when Jean began to once again lose control of the Dark Phoenix personality inside her. Fearing what she was becoming, she then decided to sacrifice herself and end the contest, intentionally triggering a booby trap that incinerated her. Upon her death, the Phoenix Force was released back into the universe. [X-Men #136-137]

At the same time, Madelyne Pryor (age 20) in Alaska, a clone of Jean who had been created by Nathaniel Essex (Mister Sinister, age 149), experienced a psychic resonance along a bond that she didn’t even understand that she shared with her clone “sister.”

Raven Darkhölme (a.k.a. “Mystique,” age 90) and Irene Adler (a.k.a. “Destiny,” age 74) began organizing a new “Brotherhood of Mutants” with the intent of assassinating U.S. Senator Robert Kelly, an outspoken anti-mutant politician. They soon recruited Fred J. Dukes (a.k.a. “The Blob,” biologically age 28), St. John Allerdyce (a.k.a. “Pyro,” age 28) and Dominikos Petrakis (a.k.a. “Avalanche,” age 22).

On Saturday, June 21, all nine of the hybrid human–H’San Natall children were born.

July 1980

Distraught over the death of Jean Grey, Cyclops (Scott Summers, age 33) took a leave of absence from the X-Men. [X-Men #138]

Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Morse (age 35) changed her crime-fighting alias from “Huntress” to “Mockingbird.”

On July 11, one of the Iranian hostages, Richard Queen, was released after becoming seriously ill.

The U.S. and several other countries boycotted the Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia (July 19-August 3) in protest of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Olypic archery bronze medallist Bonnie King (age 20) was devastated by this decision, and walked away from the sport. Soon afterward, she would marry Los Angeles journalist Bernell Jones and start a family.

On July 31, Harry Potter was born to the wizards James and Lily Potter (both age 20) in England. Lord Voldemort (b. 1926), considered the most evil and powerful dark wizard in history, killed Harry’s parents but mysteriously vanished after trying to kill the infant Harry.

August 1980

During a family gathering, Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, offered his sons the chance to participate in an experiment by Dr. Helga Jace, one of Luxembourg’s leading scientists. The experiment promised to unlock extraordinary metahuman powers present in the royal family’s genetic code. However, the Duke’s sons scoffed at the idea. Only the youngest son, Prince Guillaume (b. 1955) would even discuss the idea. Frustrated, the Duke turned to his secret illegitimate daughter, Tara (b. 1967). Tara accepted the proposition and gained geo-kinetic powers: the ability to mentally control the earth under her feet. She then ran away, traveling the world and seeking to use her powers as a mercenary seeking profit. [The fictional nation of Markovia in DC Comics sync up nicely with the real-world nation of Luxembourg. Piecing together the facts, I have uncovered Geo-Force as the secret identity of Luxembourg's real-life Prince Guillaume.]

Upon completion of her mandatory two-year service in the Israeli Defense Forces, Ruth Bat-Seraph (b. 1960) volunteered to join Mossad, Israel’s Secret Service. Under the codename “Sabra” she became the first superhuman agent to serve the Israeli government.

Identical quintuplets from a Chinese farming family, the brothers Tao-Yu (Han, Chang, Lin, Sun and Ho, b. 1965) began to show signs of mutant (Homo sapiens superior) abilities at the age of 15. The brothers were able to physically merge into one being, gaining increased physical size, strength and endurance in the process. They were taken into government custody and trained to use their powers as agents of Communist China, operating under the codename “The Collective Man.”

September 1980

Tiffany Welles decided to leave her job as a private investigator at the Townsend Agency in Los Angeles and return to Boston.

After almost three Earth years of abuse at the hands of her sister, whom she was forced to serve as a slave, Koriand’r, the former heir to the throne of planet Tamaran, finally thought she had found her opportunity to escape. Her attempt was not successful, though, and it only served to make her sister Komand’r furious enough to sentence her to execution. However, before that sentence could be carried out, both sisters were abducted by the strange reptilian Psions, the clandestine alien species that had engineered the entire Vegan star system millions of years prior. The Psions had been following the political affairs of the planets in the system, and they decided these two wayward Tamaraneans were ripe for experimentation. The experiments gave the sisters tremendous powers, which helped them escape. After battling each other, Koriand’r then escaped from her sister, using a Psion starship to travel out of the Vegan system, through hyperspace, and finally arriving at Earth.

The Polish trade union Solidarity was founded on September 17 at the Gdańsk Shipyard under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa. It was the first trade union in a Warsaw Pact country that was not controlled by the Communist Party. Its membership would reach 9.5 million members before its September 1981 Congress (when it reached 10 million), which constituted one third of the total working-age population of Poland.

October 1980

A new Titans team debuted, consisting of veterans Robin (Dick Grayson, Jr., age 18), Kid Flash (Wally West, age 29), Wonder Girl (Donna Troy, age 29) and Changeling (Gar Logan, age 28, formerly known as “Beast Boy” during his time with the Doom Patrol), plus newcomers Cyborg (Victor Stone, age 18), Starfire (the Tamaran alien known as Koriand’r, age 17 in Earth years, 1.2 in Tamaranean years, or 22 standard Vegan calendar cycles) and Raven (Rachel Roth, age 16). Victor’s father, Dr. Silas Stone (age 55), donated a facility for them to use as a headquarters: a four-story (plus two sub-levels), T-shaped glass and steel structure on an island near New York City, which they named “Titans Tower.” Robin started spending less time with Batman (who had co-founded the original Titans team and was now age 34) and more time leading the new team.

In the alternate, parallel universe of Earth-D, where it was the year 2013, the Sentinels ruled, only a few mutants survived, and the world was on the verge of nuclear holocaust. The few remaining X-Men sent the mind of Katherine Pryde (age 46) into the body of her much younger (age 13) counterpart in our universe in order to warn the X-Men there and prevent the pivotal event that caused these events: the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert Kelly by Mystique’s newly reassembled Brotherhood of Mutants. On Friday, October 31, the attempted assassination was indeed averted, and all of the Brotherhood except for Mystique were captured and imprisoned. The older Pryde’s consciousness then returned to her body in the Earth-D universe, and the younger Pryde’s consciousness returned, unaware of what had happened. [X-Men #141-142]

November 1980

Bruce Adam Wayne, the love child of Boston billionaire Bruce Thomas Wayne, was born to Silver St. Cloud, who would initially raise him as “Adam St. Cloud.”

Going by the name “Ravager,” Grant Wilson accepted a contract to kill the Titans, and was given a formula designed to enhance his strength and reflexes, similar to the super-soldier serum that had been used on his father. Unknown to him, however, the formula he received was unstable and would soon burn out his system.

Julie Rogers (b. 1955), a former model, was given a job working as a private investigator at the Townsend Agency in Los Angeles.

On November 12, the Voyager 1 spacecraft made its closest flyby of Saturn.

December 1980

Jennifer Walters gained control of her transformations into She-Hulk when Dr. Michael Morbius cured her of a lethal blood disease.

While pursuing the Titans, Ravager (Grant Wilson, age 20) over-extended the capabilities of his own body and the inferior super-soldier serum in his system caused him to overload and die. His father, Slade Wilson (age 44), also known as the mercenary “Deathstroke the Terminator,” reluctantly decided to accept the contract and kill the Titans on behalf of his son.

In late December, unexplained lights and the landing of spacecraft were witnessed by several people over a 2-3 day period in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England.

On December 29, two motorists outside of Houston, Texas were burned by exhaust fire from a close encounter with a low-flying, diamond-shaped UFO being pursued by 12 Chinook helicopters. The incident was covered up by the Men in Black.

Music of 1980
The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) composed by John Williams

1981

Home computers models were first introduced.

Access to the ARPANET, forerunner to the modern Internet, was expanded when the National Science Foundation developed the Computer Science Network (CSNET). This would prove to be a major milestone in the development of the modern Internet.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was first clinically observed in the U.S., although there was no consensus name for it at this time. At one point, the CDC coined the phrase “the 4H disease,” since the syndrome seemed to affect Haitians, homosexuals, hemophiliacs and heroin users.

Mauritania became the last country in the world to abolish slavery.

The Ultra-Humanite re-emerged with his brain now transplanted into a great albino ape. He organized the Secret Society of Super Villains and managed to capture several members of the Justice League and the Avengers before he was finally defeated.

At the age of 64, Gen. Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross faced mandatory retirement from the U.S. Air Force. However, still obsessed with capturing the Hulk, he continued on as a consultant for the “Hulkbusters” paramilitary organization that he had founded, and continued to wear his general’s uniform.

January 1981

In New York City, the Kingpin hired the assassin Elektra Natchios to kill the lawyer Franklin P. “Foggy” Nelson, but when he recognized her as “Matt’s girl” (former girlfriend of Foggy’s friend, Matt Murdock), she let him live. The Kingpin soon found out and hired the assassin Bullseye to kill Natchios in retaliation.

In Los Angeles, Dr. Michael Morbius was tried for his vampiric killings. Jennifer Walters (a.k.a. “She-Hulk,” age 29) served as his criminal defense lawyer.

Ronald Reagan (b. 1911) became the 40th U.S. President (1981-1989) on January 20. Just minutes after he was sworn into office, the remaining U.S. hostages in Iran were released after 444 days of captivity.

February 1981

A son, Connor Hawke, was born to Sandra Moonday Hawke (age 27). By this time, she and the baby’s father, Oliver Queen (Green Arrow, age 39), had already split up and he did not want to be a part of his son’s life, but he did promise to support them financially.

Believing that he was aiding terrorists, the Israeli superhero Sabra confronted the Hulk. She was surprised to find that he was not the monster she had been led to believe, and was more troubled by the human cost of war than those on both sides of the conflict. [The Incredible Hulk #256]

March 1981

On behalf of Doctor Doom, Arcade and his henchmen abducted the loved ones of several members of the X-Men, including 9-year-old Illyana Rasputin from Russia, the sister of Colossus (Peter Rasputin, age 19). They then lured the X-Men into an elaborate trap, a “Murderworld” designed by Arcade, from which the X-Men barely escaped. Afterward, Illyana would stay in the U.S. with her big brother. [X-Men # 145-147]

While assisting Dr. Bruce Banner (age 44) in the Arabian Desert, Bedouin prince Abdul Qamar (age 27) discovered the magical scimitar and flying carpet of his ancestors. He would use them to become the champion known as the Arabian Knight. [The Incredible Hulk #257]

Ronald Reagan was shot by gunman John Hinckley, Jr. on March 30, but survived the assassination attempt.

April 1981

Canada’s top-secret Department K revived its “Weapon X” program to study the potential of weaponized metahumans. The program had originally been suspended in 1973 after one of its subjects (Logan, a.k.a. “Wolverine”) went berserk and killed his handlers. This time, rather than experimenting on known mutants (Homo sapiens superior), the project targeted former Canadian servicemen and government employees, all of whom had no families and no ties, with the goal of using science and technology to “enhance” them into something more than human. Dozens of men were recruited, including a mercenary and former Canadian Army special missions commando going by the name of Wade Winston Wilson (b. 1941)—although that was not his real name. Wilson had recently been diagnosed with terminal skin cancer, and when he turned down treatments, Department K offered him a different opportunity: join their program and he would be enhanced with a superhuman healing factor that would cure him. One of the scientists hired to work on the project was British geneticist John Sublime, who was secretly actually a colony of sentient bacteria.

The first flight of NASA’s Space Shuttle program (1981-2011) took place on April 12.

May 1981

Weapon X subject Wade Wilson began treatments to bestow him with a healing factor that would eradicate the cancer that was killing him. Like many of the other Weapon X subjects, Wilson’s results would be mixed. While he did gain a healing factor, it did not eliminate the cancer, but instead made it a permanent part of him, so that his skin was mottled in constantly rejuvenating, painful, splotchy patches. As the cancer had also partly metastasized in Wilson’s brain at that point, his sanity was also affected, and he began to imagine that he was merely a character in a novel, film or other fictional work (depending on the situation), and not in control of his own actions. Along with only a handful of other survivors from the initial round of experiments from this phase of Weapon X, Wilson was placed under the care of the sadistic Dr. Emrys Killebrew, who conducted further experiments to test the capabilities and limitations of his patients. These experiments were so gruesome that the patients began a “deadpool,” placing bets as to which of them would die first. As Killebrew’s worst experiments seemed to focus on Wilson, he always seemed to be the pick to die first and soon earned the nickname “Deadpool.”

June 1981

In the Vegan system (25 light years from Earth), where astroengineering had created a system of 22 habitable, terrestrial planets ruled by the tyrannical Citadellians, a group of renegades banded together to fight oppression, calling themselves the Omega Men. [Green Lantern Vol. 2 #141]

July 1981

New York teenager Jessica Campbell (b. 1967) was riding in a car with her family when they collided with a military convoy carrying radioactive chemicals. Jessica spent several months in a coma and the rest of her family was killed.

Superman (Clark Kent, age 61) and Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 34) teamed up again, along with the Hulk (Dr. Bruce Banner, age 45) and Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira, age 59)—this time to defeat Doctor Doom (age 53) and Parasite (Maxwell Jensen, age 46). [Marvel Treasury Edition #28]

August 1981

After five years as heavyweight boxing champion, Rocky Balboa was finally defeated by James “Clubber” Lang. With the help of his former opponent Apollo Creed, he began training hard to reclaim the title.

Mystique (Raven Darkhölme, age 91) used her young prodigy Rogue (Anna Marie, age 16) to absorb the powers of all of the Avengers and free the Brotherhood of Mutants. However, the Avengers ultimately rounded up all of the escapees, and only Mystique and Rogue escaped. During the melee, Afterward, Rogue found that the memories, personality and powers she had absorbed from Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers, age 36) did not fade and return to Danvers, but had instead transferred to her permanently. [Avengers Annual #10]

At the end of the summer semester at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Kitty Pryde (age 14) learned that her parents had suddenly had a change of heart and moved her to the Massachusetts Academy. Kitty was devastated by this decision. [X-Men #151]

On August 3, a U.S. black-ops squad led by Colonel John Matrix secretly forced the resignation of Bolivian President Luis García Meza Tejada (b. 1932), a brutal military dictator. Meza was soon replaced by one of his generals, the equally repressive Celso Torrelio (b. 1933), but internal politics would force Torrelio out of office a year later.

On August 26, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest flyby of Saturn.

September 1981

Batman (Bruce T. Wayne, age 35) and the Hulk (Dr. Bruce Banner, age 45) teamed up to stop the Joker and the Shaper-of-Worlds. [DC Special Series #27]

Tigra (Grant Greer Nelson, age 29) became the latest member of the Avengers.

When Kitty Pryde's friend Ororo Munroe (Storm, age 30) drove her to the Massachusetts Academy to begin the fall term, the villainous Emma Frost (The White Queen, age 30) switched bodies with her and tried to infiltrate the X-Men. Munroe was eventually able to free herself from the trap and force the switch back, after which Frost agreed to leave Pryde alone and let her continue going to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. [X-Men #151-152]

October 1981

Lee Travis (formerly “The Crimson Avenger”) died at age 65 while piloting a ship away from downtown St. Louis, Missouri before it exploded.

In California, an alien botanist was accidentally left behind when his party fled was discovered by the Men in Black and his colleagues fled. The alien was subsequently adopted by a 10-year-old boy who helped him contact his people and be rescued. [E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial]

Jessica Campbell (age 14) awoke from the coma she had been in since July when her family was killed in an automobile accident. She was soon adopted by the Jones family and re-enrolled in school. Before long, she realized that the accident had granted her super-human powers.

November 1981

Rick Jones (age 35) was being held captive in western Texas by the villain known as the Corrupter (Jackson Day, age 31), who had the Hulk under his mental control. Jones managed to send out a shortwave radio message trying to contact the Avengers. The message did not reach its target, but five costumed heroes from the American Southwest did receive it and respond: Firebird (Bonita Juarez, b. 1963), Phantom Rider (Hamilton Slade, b. 1962), Red Wolf (William Talltrees, b. 1949), Shooting Star (Victoria Star, b. 1960) and Texas Twister (Drew Daniels, b. 1954). After Jones was freed, the five heroes decided to establish an unofficial team, “The Rangers,” and band together again whenever a great need should arise in their region.

In the Andromeda Galaxy, the planet Xandar finally won its war against the Skrulls. Richard Rider (age 21) decided to relinquish his Nova powers and return to Earth. Upon his return to Earth, however, Rider would struggle to readjust to a “normal life,” in part because of his failure to complete high school.

Dr. Hank Pym (age 47) struck his wife Janet (age 43) during a domestic dispute.

December 1981

After being harassed and beaten by a small-town Sheriff in Washington State, John Rambo had a flashback to being a Vietnam POW and fought his way out of the police station. After a chase and a stand-off, Rambo turned himself in to authorities. He was tried, found guilty and sent to prison. [First Blood]

The “Hessdalen Lights,” bright lights of unknown origin that have been known to appear floating above the ground in the Hessdalen Valley in Norway, became especially active (observed 15-20 times per week) at this time, and would remain so until the summer of 1984.

Suicidal but finding himself unable to die because of his protective armor, the High Evolutionary (Herbert Wyndham, age 65) goaded the Hulk (Dr. Bruce Banner, age 45) into destroying his armor, thus allowing him to die. [The Incredible Hulk #266; yes, he really died - the terrible Evolutionary War storyline never happened.]

Following their altercation the month prior, Janet Pym filed for divorce from her estranged husband Hank.

1982

The Monitor realized that the Anti-Monitor was growing strong enough to locate and attack the original universe, our universe, from which the Multiverse had sprung and upon which its entire existence depended. If the Anti-Monitor were to destroy our universe, all of the myriad parallel universes would cease to exist. The Monitor chose 52 parallel universes with which to make a last, final stand, fighting a war against the Anti-Monitor simultaneously across all of them. In each of these universes, he began looking for a world from which he could draw heroes to help him in his fight. In our universe, and indeed many of the universes, Earth’s heroes seemed best prepared.

The Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) was standardized and the modern Internet, a world-wide network of fully interconnected TCP/IP networks, was introduced.

January 1982

In a rematch with James “Clubber” Lang, Rocky Balboa reclaimed the heavyweight boxing championship.

Frankie Raye (age 32), girlfriend of the Human Torch (Johnny Storm, age 36), discovered that her fear of fire was actually a form of mental conditioning that had been implanted into her to help her control her own mutant fire powers. Regaining her memories and control of her powers, she began working with her boyfriend and the Fantastic Four as a second Human Torch.

February 1982

While on a case, Las Vegas police officer Michael Arthur Long (b. January 9, 1949) was shot in the face and nearly killed. He was rescued by self-made billionaire Wilton Knight (b. 1913), the chairman of Knight Industries, whose team of physicians gave Michael a face with plastic surgery. When Michael awoke, he accepted an offer to become the first agent of Knight’s privately-funded crime-fighting organization, the Foundation for Law and Government (F.L.A.G.).

Runaways Tyrone “Ty” Johnson from Boston, Massachusetts (b. 1964) and Tandy Bowen (b. 1965) from Shaker Heights, Ohio met and became good friends in New York City. Soon afterward, they were captured and taken to criminal chemist Simon Marshall, who was developing a new synthetic heroin and testing it on runaway teens. It had been having fatal results, but Johnson and Bowen survived injections of the drug. Escaping from Marshall, both teens found that the drug had triggered latent metahuman powers in them. Johnson found himself engulfed in darkness and seized by a strange hunger which eased in the presence of Tandy glowing with a brilliant light. Calling themselves “Cloak” and “Dagger,” respectively, the teens became vigilantes, declaring war on drug-dealers and pledging to help other runaway children.

Scott Summers (Cyclops) was reunited with his long-lost father Christopher (Corsair), who had spent the intervening years as a member of the rogue space team “The Starjamers.” [X-Men #154-157]

March 1982

Cloak (Ty Johnson) and Dagger (Tandy Bowen) tracked down and killed drug lord Simon Marshal and his henchmen, crossing paths with Spider-Man in the process. [Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #64]

In the U.K., Michael Moran rediscovered the memories and powers of “Marvelman” that had been erased 22 years prior. He soon discovered that Bates had also survived, but had turned into a psychopath.

Dr. Raymond Solar, “The Man of the Atom,” managed to form a corporeal body for the last time. After this, he was never able to re-form and is presumed to have died.

The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne, age 43) became the leader of The Avengers.

Dr. Bill Foster (age 39) was cured of radiation poisoning. However, the cure prohibited him from using “Pym Particles” to change his size in the future, and so he retired from crime fighting.

To escape from the deadly pollution on this planet, the Inhumans moved their home city of Attilan to the “Blue Area” of the Moon, an abandoned Kree outpost with Earth-normal gravity. Crystal and Quicksilver’s daughter was soon born there, and was named Luna in honor of being the first Inhuman born on the Moon.

April 1982

In New York City, the assassin Bullseye taunted Daredevil as he killed his former lover Elektra Natchios.

Green Lantern Hal Jordan was exiled into space by the Guardians of the Universe for spending too much time on his home planet Earth.

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) died of incurable cancer that he had acquired from battling the villain Nitro in September 1974. [Marvel Graphic Novel #1]

After Mar-Vell died, his lover, the artificially created Eternal known as Elysius, decided to honor his legacy by having his children. Already possessing his DNA, she impregnated herself with a male (Genis-Vell) and female (Phyla-Vell) child, and would raise them among the Eternals on Titan.

The Falklands War began on Friday, April 2 when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands (and, the following day, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) in an attempt to establish the sovereignty it had long claimed over them. On April 3, the United Kingdom, which also claimed the islands and had occupied them, sought and gained support for military action from the United Nations, and then moved to defend the islands. It would become the largest air-naval conflict between modern forces since the end of World War II.

May 1982

After the human host body of Barbara Norriss was killed, the spirit of Brunnhilde the Valkyrie was able to regain her true Asgardian body.

Daredevil (Matt Murdock) tried to use an ancient Hand ninja ritual to resurrect his deceased lover Elektra. He believed that it failed, but in fact the ceremony helped Elektra’s spirit return to our world and bind to a newly conceived child.

While training on an island, the X-Men fell through a dimensional portal to Belasco’s Limbo, with ten-year-old Illyana Rasputin accompanying them. There, they met doppelgangers of themselves from a parallel universe who had fought the demon Belasco before—and lost. As they escaped, Illyana was pulled back into Limbo for what seemed like mere moments to the X-Men, but in that time, she aged five years emerging as a 15-year-old who had spent the intervening years learning sorcery and developing her mutant powers. [X-Men #160]

June 1982

At an Antarctic research station, scientists discovered flying saucer buried for over 100,0000 years and unleashed a shape-shifting alien that was able to mimic other life forms. They managed to kill the alien by destroying the base, but all of the scientists perished as well. [The Thing]

Drax the Destroyer (an artificial body with the mind of Arthur Douglas) was seemingly killed during a battle against his daughter Moondragon (Heather Douglas, age 26), In reality, although the body that hosted him had shut down, his final brainwave pattern had been preserved (if not entirely without trauma) and was eventually reconstructed by the Eternal known as Kronos.

In cooperation with the U.S. military, the Department of External Services (DXS) organized the Special Counter-Terrorist Unit Delta (SCUD) to deal with increased domestic terror activity due to the presence of Cobra Command on U.S. soil. Thirteen special operatives were initially chosen for the task force: missile commander Clayton M. Abernathy (“Hawk”), artillery expert James J. Barney (“Grand Slam”), mortar expert Eric W. Friestadt (Short-Fuze”), rifleman Anthony S. Gambello (“Flash”), infantryman Robert W. Graves (“Grunt”), communications officer Alvin R. Kibbey (“Breaker”), machine gunner Craig S. McConnel (“Rock ‘n Roll”), bazooka gunner Rafael J. Melendez (“Zap”), counterintelligence expert Shana M. O’Hara (“Scarlett”), tank commander Ralph W. Pulaski (“Steeler”), VAMP driver Lance J. Steinberg (“Clutch”), ranger Lonzo R. Wilkinson (“Stalker”), and a commando whose real name was classified (“Snake Eyes”). Almost immediately, the members of the task force began referring to themselves as “G.I. Joe,” the name of the previous DXS task force from the 1960s and ‘70s.

The Elder of the Universe known as the Grandmaster kidnapped a variety of heroes representing all of the nations of planet Earth to use as pawns in a “Contest of Champions” versus the cosmic entity Death. After introducing himself to the group, the Grandmaster explained that he had made a deal with his opponent, who wished to remain anonymous. They would each choose twelve champions, split into three-person squads, to compete in a non-lethal, athletic contest to retrieve four prizes, set in remote locations across planet Earth: the North Pole, a ghost town, ancient ruins and an Amazon jungle. If the Grandmaster’s team won, his opponent would bring his brother, the Collector, back to life. If his opponent’s team won, the Grandmaster’s life would be forfeit as well. For his team, the Grandmaster chose the Phantom from Tanzania, Talisman from Australia, and Darkstar from the Soviet Union to compete at the North Pole; Captain Britain from the United Kingdom, Defensor from Argentina, and Wonder Girl from Themiscyra for the ghost town; Wolverine from Canada, Le Faucon Pèlerin from France, and the Thing from the United States for the ancient ruins; and Captain America from the United States, Sasquatch from Canada, and Der Blitzkreiger from Germany for the Amazon jungle. His opponent chose Iron Fist from K’un-Lun, the Invisible Girl from the United States, and Sunfire from Japan for the North Pole; Iron Man from the United States, the Arabian Knight from Saudi Arabia, and Sabra from Israel for the ghost town; Vanguard from the Soviet Union, Merpati from Indonesia, and Black Panther from Wakanda for the ancient ruins; and Shamrock from Ireland, Storm from Kenya, and the Collective Man from China for the Amazon jungle. As the contest ended in a 2–2 tie, Death gave the Grandmaster the option of taking his brother’s place, which he accepted; the Collector was resurrected and the Grandmaster died. [Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions, with some minor alterations to include a few non-Marvel characters]

The Falklands War ended with a ceasefire on June 14 as Argentina surrendered.

July 1982

The term “acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)” was introduced at a CDC meeting. By September, the CDC had begun using this as the standard term for the illness.

Computer programmer Kevin Flynn tried to obtain evidence that his former employer, ENCOM engineer Ed Dillinger, had stolen his work. While hacking into the ENCOM system, however, its Master Control Program (MCP) used an experimental laser to digitize Flynn and transport him to a virtual environment known as "The Grid." With the help of a security program named TRON, which had been programmed by his friend Alan Bradley, Flynn managed to defeat the MCP and escape out of the virtual world to physical reality. There, he was finally able to provide the evidence to prove Dillinger's wrongdoings. Before long, he had established himself as ENCOM's new CEO. He also married his girlfriend, architect Jordan Canas, who he learned was pregnant with his son. [TRON]

Superman was drawn into another dimension to planet Eternia, where he helped He-Man and Battle Cat fight off Skeletor and Beastman, who were attempting to take over Castle Grayskull. [DC Comics Presents #47]

She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters, age 31) joined the Avengers.

Frankie Raye (age 33) left the Fantastic Four to become the new herald of Galactus, adopting the alias “Nova.” [Fantastic Four #244]

August 1982

In order to harness the near limitless power of the Source, Darkseid attempted to tap into the Phoenix Force. However, his plans were discovered and he was thwarted by an alliance of the Titans and the X-Men. [The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans]

Deep underground, the ancient Cybertronian spacecraft that had been reawakened by the Mount St. Helens eruption in May 1980 sent out a satellite to collect information about Earth. The drone would collect millions of images and data files regarding modern vehicles and machinery, which the Cybertronian computer misunderstood to represent the dominant life forms of the planet. It began scheduling wake-up procedures for the robots in stasis.

To go with his new face, F.L.A.G. agent Michael Long was given a new identity, Michael Knight, and the resources he needed to target criminals who operated “above the law.” Most notably, he was partnered with K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand), a virtually indestructible, artificially intelligent, fully automated, black Pontiac Trans-Am loaded with state-of-the-art weapons and technology like flamethrowers and infrared sensing devices.

September 1982

Having graduated from high school in the spring, Ronnie Raymond (age 18) began attending the University of Pittsburgh, where his Firestorm partner, Dr. Martin Stein (age 55) was a professor.

The alien species known as the Brood captured the X-Men, Carol Danvers and Empress Lilandra Neramani of the Shi’ar and took them back to their home world. There, their minds were manipulated into thinking that they were guests at an elaborate Shi’ar gathering, when in reality the Brood queen had implanted Brood embryos into each of them. In a few weeks’ time, the embryos would bond with their DNA, culminating in a sudden transformation into a new, adult Brood warrior. The Brood had also implanted a new Brood queen embryo in Charles Xavier and left him on Earth to transform. [X-Men #161-162]

October 1982

A British thief and con-artist who went only by the name “Harry” adopted the alias “Remington Steele” and began working for private detective Laura Holt in Los Angeles.

Thanks to his heightened sense, Wolverine was able to see through the illusory Brood mind control and escape into the wilds of the Brood home world (which he called “Sleazeworld”). There, his body’s natural healing factor was eventually able to burn the Brood embryo out of his system, healing himself. He then turned his attention to his friends: realizing that he would either have to rescue them, or if they transformed, kill them. [X-Men #162]

Believing his X-Men to have been killed, Professor Xavier (age 48) wrestled with whether or not he could take on the challenge of mentoring a new class of mutants (Homo sapiens superior). Several had appeared in recent months, and some had even come to seek his help. Meanwhile, following up on a lead of his own, Donald Pierce of the Hellfire Club recruited 18-year-old mutant Samuel Guthrie from Kentucky, and together they captured Xavier. A group of the young mutants ten rescued Xavier, along with Guthrie who defected, and Xavier agreed to take them on as students at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, calling them his “New Mutants.” (In part, his decision to reopen the school was subconsciously motivated by the Brood queen growing inside him, for whom the young mutants would make prime hosts for Brood warrior embryos.) In addition to Guthrie, who took the codename “Cannonball,” the incoming class consisted of: Xi'an "Shan" Coy Manh from Vietnam (a.k.a. “Karma,” age 19), Danielle “Dani” Moonstar from the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana (a.k.a. “Psyche,” age 16), Roberto “Bobby” da Costa from Rio de Janeiro (a.k.a. “Sunspot,” age 14), and Rahne Sinclair from Scotland (a.k.a. “Wolfsbane,” age 13). [Marvel Graphic Novel #4]

Taken with pity, Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom, age 54) adopted a young boy named Kristoff Vernard (b. 1974) after his mother was murdered by the usurper Zorba in Latveria. [Fantastic Four #247]

On October 8, the trade union Solidarity was outlawed by the communist Polish government.

As he turned 20 (on October 24), Dick Grayson, Jr. informed Batman (Bruce Wayne, age 36) that he felt it was time for him to step out of the role of sidekick and focus on his own career as leader of the Teen Titans. He began spending significantly less time working with Batman.

November 1982

Wolverine freed his friends from the Brood, but they were still infected with Brood embryos. Eventually they started to transform, but they were healed by the prophet-singer of the Acanti, a giant species of whale-like aliens that they had befriended. They then raced back to Earth to try to find the other Brood queen embryo, which they suspected had been implanted in Charles Xavier. [X-Men #163-166]

The criminal mastermind Fu Manchu died at the age of 141 (his extra-long lifespan having been provided by the elixir vitae).

Leonid Brezhnev died on November 10, and Yuri Andropov (b. 1914) became the new head of the Soviet Union (1982-1984).

December 1982

As Professor Charles Xavier approached his transformation into a Brood queen, the alien began taking over his mind and psychic abilities. This began noticeably affecting the New Mutant known as Psyche (Dani Moonstar), who began creating mirages of Brood aliens. [New Mutants #3] Just as Xavier began his transformation, the X-Men returned from space. They debated killing him, but instead subdued him and took him aboard the Starjammer spaceship to try to find a way of curing him. It was finally determined that there was no way to do so, but Empress Lilandra Neramani of the Shi’ar informed them that she still had a clone of Xavier’s body, and it may be possible to transfer his mind to the new body. The operation was a success, and the Brood queen was destroyed. Xavier awoke with his mind and powers intact in a new, much younger body (biologically approximately age 30). Although his legs technically were fully functional in the new body, he still had trouble walking due to deep-seated psychic barriers he had put in place to deal with the pain. [X-Men #167]

In addition, although no one realized it at the time, Xavier’s clone had not been kept entirely brain dead while in stasis for nearly four years. Because of the powerful telepathic mutant capabilities of Xavier’s physiology, his mental activity resonated across the Astral Plane in ways that had not been detectable by Shi’ar geneticists. This had attracted the attention of a mummudrai, a bodiless parasitic lifeform from the Astral Plane, which had attached itself to him. As Xavier awoke, the mummudrai began developing its own personality, a mirror-image of Xavier’s.

Robert Frank, Sr. (a.k.a. “The Whizzer,” age 61) suffered a third heart attack and died while saving his son Robert Frank, Jr. (a.k.a. “Nuklo,” biologically age 20) and finally curing him of his excessive radiation, so he could live a normal life.

After years of searching, Mehemet Faoul (b. 1945) rediscovered the lost Ruby Scarab that had given his father Abdul Faoul mystical powers as the “Scarlet Scarab.” Mehemet followed in his father’s footsteps as Egypt’s new champion. In December, soon after his debut, however, he clashed with Thor, who had initially mistaken him for a villain.

Having adopted the alias Tara Markov, the 15-year-old illegitimate daughter of Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, had ended up in the U.S., where she had met fellow mercenary Deathstroke (Slade Wilson, age 46). The two began having an affair, and Tara agreed to help him infiltrate the team of his enemies, the Titans. Feigning a battle, Tara convinced the Titans that she was Slade’s enemy and was recruited as their newest member.

1983

With the aid of the terrorist organization known as the Secret Empire, Khan Noonan Singh and his fellow “augments” began secrtely maneuvering themselves into power in dozens of African, Middle Eastern, Asian and European countries. (An earlier plan to infiltrate the Americas as well had failed when President Richard Nixon had been discovered as a traitor by Captain America in 1974, and so the Western Hemisphere went largely untouched by this incursion.)

Two separate research groups discovered retroviruses that might be responsible for causing AIDS. These viruses would turn out to be the same, and in 1986 would be named “human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”

Defending WBA and WBC heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Balboa was named the inaugural IBC champion, but was stripped of all three belts later in the year as he chose not to defend them in the ring.

January 1983

Cyclops (Scott Summers, age 36) and Wolverine (Logan, age 91) both took a leave of absence from the X-Men. Meanwhile, on the cusp of her 16th birthday, Professor Charles Xavier reassigned Kitty Pryde from the X-Men to the New Mutants, reasoning that the younger team was closer to her own age. However, when alien Sidri Hunters infiltrated the school grounds while Pryde was there alone, she performed exceptionally in handling The situation, demonstrating that she was comparable in experience to the other X-Men, if not in age. Xavier then agreed to let her remain with the X-Men team on a probationary basis. [X-Men #168]

The Black Widow (Natalia “Natasha” Romanova) celebrated her 44th birthday and retired from crime fighting.

February 1983

In Boston, socialite Silver St. Cloud (age 32) discovered that she was pregnant with the child of Bruce T. Wayne (age 37), whom she knew to secretly be Batman. Worried for the safety of her child, she decided to leave Boston, but Bruce would secretly support her and the child.

The reincarnated assassin Elektra was born for the second time. Throughout her childhood, she would eventually begin to regain memories of her previous life.

While visiting Alaska with his father to meet his grandparents for the first time, Scott Summers (age 35) was amazed to discover a woman, Madelyne Pryor (age 22), who looked just like a slightly younger version of his recently deceased girlfriend, Jean Grey. Despite his reservations, he was drawn to her, and the two soon fell in love. [X-Men #168]

March 1983

After battling the corrupt Yakuza lord Shingen Harada in Japan, Wolverine (Logan) became engaged to his daughter, Mariko Yashida. [Wolverine #1-4]

While investigating the appearance of a new criminal, Killer Croc (Waylon Jones, b. 1948), Batman (Bruce Thomas Wayne, age 37) took a 12-year-old troubled youth named Jason Todd (b. 1971) under his wing as his new apprentice.

On March 8, U.S. President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “Evil Empire” in an address to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida. The speech marked a period of heightened rhetoric in the Cold War, wherein Reagan sought to paint a stark contrast between the nations and take a hard-line stance against Soviet totalitarianism.

April 1983

Due to the relapse of Tony Stark (age 44) into alcoholism, his friend Jim Rhodes (age 33) assumed the mantle of Iron Man.

On April 18, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was the site of a suicide bombing that killed 63 people, mostly embassy and CIA staff members, several soldiers and one Marine. It was the deadliest attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission up to that time, and is thought of as marking the beginning of anti-U.S. attacks by Islamist groups.

May 1983

Jason Todd first began wearing the Robin costume as Batman’s new sidekick.

In a distant part of the Milky Way galaxy, the longstanding war began between the Rylan Star League and the Ko-Dan Empire heated up again when the traitor Xur, son of the Rylan ambassador, betrayed his people. Desperate for new pilots capable of operating their Star Fighter spacecraft, the Rylans hired recruiters to aggressively scour League planets for candidates with “the gift.” Following a hunch, the alien Sentarri looked outside of the League, developing a video game capable of finding capable candidates, and placing them strategically on planet Earth. [The Last Starfighter]

June 1983

Due to the influence of the mutant Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde), Mariko Yashida called off her wedding to Logan (Wolverine). [X-Men #173]

Captain America (Steve Rogers) approached Jack Monroe (the 1950s “Bucky”), who by then had recovered from his 1979 gunshot wounds and brainwashing, and gave him the identity of “Nomad.” The two became partners.

After a battle with her nemesis Morgan Le Fay, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) found her spirit disembodied and unable to rejoin her comatose body.

Johnny Blaze (age 31) was freed from his curse and became separated from the demon Zarathos. His time as the Ghost Rider came to an end.

In the Vegan system (25 light years from Earth), the Omega Men first encountered the alien bounty hunter Lobo. [Omega Men #3]

Kung Fu master Shang-Chi (age 32) forsook his life as an adventurer, and retired to remote Yang-Tin, China, to live as a fisherman.

On June 18, Sally Ride became the first officially recognized American woman in space.

July 1983

Having recently completed her master’s degree in library sciences, Barbara Gordon (age 22) debuted as “Batgirl” in Boston.

In Boston, Batman (Bruce T. Wayne, age 37) organized a new costumed crime-fighting team called the Outsiders. Initial members included: Metamorpho (Rex Mason, age 45), Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro, age 37), Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce, age 29), Geo-Force (Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, a.k.a. “Brion Markov,” age 20), and a centuries-old energy-being known as an Aurakle that went by the name “Halo” as it possessed the body of Violet Harper (age 16).

Rogue left Mystique and defected to the X-Men, believing that Charles Xavier and his school were better equipped to help her deal with the psychological trauma having permanently absorbed the memories, personality and powers of Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers).

August 1983

Galactus devoured Tarnax IV, the Skrull Throneworld, killing billions of Skrulls. With the destruction of the central government, the Skrull Empire was left with dozens of Governors with claims to the throne, and a civil war resulted across the Andromeda galaxy.

Department H was defunded and closed down by the Canadian government. Alpha Flight decided to continue on independently, along with two new members from “Beta Flight” (the Alpha Flight training team) who had been ready to make the transition: Marrina (an amphibious, extraterrestrial woman from Newfoundland) and Puck (Eugene Judd, a dwarf from Saskatoon who was an extraordinarily gifted acrobat).

The wedding of Barry Allen (The Flash) and Fiona Webb (b. 1946 as Beverly Lewis before having her name changed in the Federal Witness Protection Program) was interrupted by Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne, age 44). Afraid that Zoom would kill his bride for the second time, The Flash instead snapped Zoom’s neck, killing him. The wedding was cancelled.

Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Madelyne Pryor were married. [X-Men #175]

September 1983

A number of new, legacy heroes applied for membership to the Justice Society: The Silver Scarab (Hector Hall, age ), Fury (Lyta Trevor), Northwind (Norda Cantrell) and Nuklon (Albert Rothstein).

Fiona Webb discovered she was pregnant with Barry Allen’s baby. After the fiasco of their August wedding that ended in disaster, the two decided to elope and got married in a much smaller ceremony with only a few friends present.

October 1983

U.S. Department of External Services (DXS) agent Valerie “Val” Cooper (b. 1957) was assigned to oversee a project to develop new superhuman agents. One of the first recruits to the program was her former college friend, Julia Carpenter (b. 1957), who had recently gotten a divorce and had contacted Val looking for employment opportunities.

Cloak (Ty Johnson, age 19) and Dagger (Tandy Bowen, age 18) teamed up with the New Mutants, but declined an offer to join the team. [Marvel Team-Up Annual #6]

On October 23, in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War, two truck bombs struck separate buildings in Beirut housing U.S. and French military forces, and killing a total of 299 servicemen. An obscure group calling itself “Islamic Jihad” claimed responsibility for the bombings.

November 1983

While Thor was investigating a fleet of alien spacecraft passing through the Solar System, he accidentally triggered the sentient ship Skuttlebutt to revive the alien supersoldier Beta Ray Bill from suspended animation. Believing each other to be a threat, Thor and Bill battled each other to a standstill until the fleet reached Earth’s orbit. At that point, Thor was inadvertently transformed to his human persona, Dr. Donald Blake, and knocked unconscious by Bill. Examining Blake’s cane, Bill struck it and it transformed into Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, granting Bill all of Thor’s power. Transported to Asgard, Odin saw for himself that Bill was worthy to wield mighty Mjolnir. Odin then offered Bill an enchanted hammer of his own, equal in power to Mjolnir, called Stormbreaker (actually a hammer of a previous incarnation of Thor that had survived a previous Ragnarök and had been hidden away by Odin).

Exhausted by recent traumatic events, Mary Jane Watson (age 36) left New York for several months. While she was gone, she discovered she was pregnant with Peter Parker’s child.

Researchers at Hawkins National Laboratory in Indiana opened a rift to the “Upside Down,” an alternate dimension. A monster from the Upside Down escaped and abducted 12-year-old Will Byers. A young psychokinetic girl called Eleven escaped from the laboratory and assisted Will's friends in their efforts to find Will.

December 1983

While visiting a Chinatown antique store in New York City, struggling inventor Randall Peltzer (b. 1938) discovered a small, furry creature called a “Mogwai” and bought it as a gift for his 21-year-old son Billy (b. 1962). The creature came with three specific instructions: never expose it to bright light, never let it touch water, and never feed it after midnight. These instructions were ignored, with disastrous consequences for the Peltzers’ small, Catskills town, before the antique store proprietor came to take the Mogwai back. [Gremlins]

Crime lord Tony “Scarface” Montoya was killed in Miami, Florida.

The costumed crime fighters Mockingbird (Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, age 38) and Hawkeye (Clint Barton, age 38) eloped.

1984

The alternate, parallel universe of Earth-Askani had been ruled by the mutant Apocalypse for over two millennia. When Apocalypse was overthrown in the year 3806 (1984 in our universe), his deputy Stryfe (age 39), a genetically engineered mutant soldier, decided to travel to another universe. Arriving in ours, he organized the Mutant Liberation Front, a terrorist organization designed to bring himself to power. However, following him to our universe was his twin brother, Cable, who was determined to stop him. Cable organized a group called Wild Pack (later renamed Six Pack) to do just that. [Note that I have removed a lot of time-travel nonsense from the backstory here.]

January 1984

U.S. Senator Robert Kelly sponsored a “Mutant Registration Act,” which became a hot polticial topic among during the election year. (Senator Kelly himself, however, was not facing re-election.)

Green Lantern Hal Jordan petitioned the Guardians of the Universe and was allowed to return to Earth after his period of exile. [Green Lantern Vol. 2 #172]

February 1984

Identified as a potential metahuman, Julia Carpenter (age 26) was given spider-themed super-powers in an experiment conducted by the U.S. Department of External Services (DXS). The results of the experiment would be described by the OSI scientists involved as “entirely accidental” and would prove non-replicable in future studies. She was assigned the alias “Spider-Woman,” becoming the second woman to use that name, and assigned to the new Freedom Force task squad under the command of her college friend, Val Cooper.

Sam Wilson, Jr. (age 9), son of the masked crime fighter Falcon (Sam Wilson, Sr., age 37) began showing signs of being able to communicate with Redwing, the telepathically enhanced hawk that served as his father’s companion. However, unlike his father, Sam Jr. soon found that he was able to extend this telepathic communication to all birds, not just Redwing.

Yuri Andropov died on February 9 and Konstantin Chernenko (b. 1911) became the new head of the Soviet Union (1984-1985).

March 1984

While commanding the Red October, the first of a new class of Soviet submarine, Captain Marko Ramius defected to the U.S. His actions were met with strong opposition by his own Soviet navy, and American misconceptions of his intentions. CIA analyst Jack Ryan (b. 1950) was the one man who saw the defection for what it was and worked to convince the American Navy that he was correct. [The Hunt for Red October]

Under the leadership of the Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton, Jr., age 32), the remaining members of the Justice Society relocated to Los Angeles and formed a new team: Infinity Inc. In addition to Pemberton and returning members Power Girl (Karen Kent, age 29) and Huntress (Helena Kyle, age 27), several new members were admitted to the team at this time: Silver Scarab (Hector Hall, age 29), Fury (Lyta Trevor, age 28), Nuklon (Albert Rothstein, age 23), Brainwave (Hank King, Jr., age 22), Northwind (Norda Cantrell, age 19), Jade (Jennie-Lynn Hayden, age 17) and Obsidian (Todd James Rice, age 17).

When her mentor Charles Magnus sacrificed his life to save her, Jessica Drew’s spirit was once again joined with her body and she awoke from her nine-month coma. However, she found that she no longer possessed the powers of Spider-Woman and appeared to once again be a normal human being.

The alien Dire Wraiths tried to secretly invade and conquer Earth, but were stopped by Rom and many of Earth’s heroes. [Rom: Spaceknight #50–65]

April 1984

Due to being sterilized while in the Soviet “Red Room” spy training program, retired crime fighter Natalia “Natasha” Romanova (a.k.a. “Black Widow,” age 45) was unable to have children of her own. However, after petitioning her ally Nick Fury, he agreed to use secret S.H.I.E.L.D. technology to clone her.

Jenny Weaver (b. 1969) first encountered the teen superhero Zot (Zachary T. Paleozogt) from an alternate Earth in a utopian pocket universe.

On Sunday, April 1, an extradimensional entity called “The Beyonder” (actually a “child unit” of the extradimensional alien species known as the Beyonders) transported several heroes and villains from Earth to “Battleworld,” a planet he had created as a pastiche of different parts of Earth within the Counter-Earth pocket universe created by the Beyonders. (The Beyonders themselves live in a dimension known as “The Beyond.”) There, he manipulated the heroes and villains to have several skirmishes, although a few—such as the powerful cosmic being Galactus—refused to participate and were merely annoyed by the disturbance. The heroes spent several days on Battlworld. While there, Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 37) discovered a new black costume, unaware that it was actually an alien symbiote. When the heroes returned home, Ben Grimm (The Thing, age 59, but biologically age 45) found that he was now able to switch at will between monstrous and human form. He chose to retire and spend more time with his wife Alicia (age 45) and son Daniel (age 6). In his place, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters, age 32) joined the Fantastic Four.

May 1984

U.S. Senator Robert Kelly’s Mutant Registration Act legislation gained momentum in Congress, as a modified and less-extreme version of the bill was approved by a sub-committee.

Desiring to create chaos, Circe began stirring up trouble among the Earth’s various “gods” and other groups of extradimensional immortals. Using her powerful sorcery, Circe planted subtle suggestions, perceived slights and jealousies in their minds, in an effort to lead them to all-out war.

On May 12, a Series 800 Terminator arrived from Earth-J (where it was the year 2029) to kill Sarah Connor (b. 1965), who in the Earth-J universe had become the mother of resistance leader John Connor. Soon afterwards, Kyle Reese arrived from Earth-J, sent by John Connor to protect Sarah. Kyle succeeded in protecting Sarah, but was himself killed. Some parts of the Terminator were left behind at the Cyberdyne Systems factory. [The Terminator]

On May 13, Bartholomew Henry “Bart” Allen, Jr. was born to Barry and Fiona Allen.

June 1984

The Mutant Registration Act was passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress.

As Batman was now working with a new Robin, Dick Grayson, Jr. (age 21) officially changed his alias to “Nightwing.”

In his old neighborhood in Springfield, Ohio, the ghost of child murderer Freddy Krueger (who was burned alive in 1968) began preying on teenagers in their dreams. [A Nightmare on Elm Street]

Teenager Alex Rogen (b. 1966) broke the record on the “Star Fighter” video game that had been planted on Earth by the alien Sentarri. When Sentarri arrived on Earth to offer him a position as a real Gunstar pilot, Rogen at first declined, but eventually decided to fight for the Rylan Star League. As the last remaining Star Fighter, he and his navigator Grig were able to take out the entire Ko-Dan Armada with a surprise attack. Along with his girlfriend Maggie Gordon (b. 1967), Rogen was then invited to remain on planet Rylos to help rebuild the Star Fighter ranks. [The Last Starfighter]

July 1984

Having been pushed in the right direction by the influence of Circe, the Dark Elf known as Malekith the Accursed made plans to steal the Casket of Ancient Winters and use it to summon the fire demon Surtur to Earth.

J’onn J’onzz (Martian Manhunter, age 92 in Earth years or 49 in Martian ords) left New Barsoom and returned to Earth, feeling that that was where he truly belonged.

Vindicator (James Hudson, age 40), the leader of the Canadian superhero team Alpha Flight, was killed in action when his battle-suit exploded. His wife Heather (age 36) took over team leadership, although at first she did so as a non-combatant.

After betraying her teammates, the Titans, to her lover Slade Wilson (Deathstroke), Tara Markov (age 17) died in the ensuing battle when she accidentally used her earth-moving powers to collapse a building on herself.

Mary Jane Watson (age 37) gave birth to Peter Parker’s daughter. The baby, whom she named “May,” was believed to be stillborn, but was secretly kidnapped by Alison Mongraine.

On Friday, July 13, Jason Voorhees killed another batch of camp counselors. [Friday the 13th Part 2] His killing rampage then continued for several days after. [Friday the 13th Part III, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter] In the end, Voorhees was believed to have been killed, and his body was buried.

The Soviet Union and many of its allies boycotted the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California (July 28-August 12) in retaliation for the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow games.

August 1984

Hal Jordan (age 48) resigned and John Stewart (age 38) was promoted from back-up to the full-time Green Lantern of Sector 2814. [Green Lantern Vol. 2 #181]

After a violent confrontation, Marvelman (Michael Moran) managed to stop his former partner Johnny Bates, leaving the latter in a catatonic state. Dr. Gargunza and a team of government scientists returned Moran and Bates to stasis. There, Moran continued to have simulated adventures as Marvelman. He was eventually rejoined by Bates. However, Bates’ continued violent tendencies caused the simulations to take a dark and disturbing turn. Eventually, both Moran and Bates were killed within the increasingly violent simulations, causing them to also die in real life.

Trying once more to alter the reality of her own universe, Rachel Summers (age 28) traveled from the Earth-D universe to our own. This was when she realized that her late lover Franklin Richards had been wrong, and it was impossible to change the past. After the shock of realizing she was stuck in our universe, and that her own was doomed, she would eventually join the X-Men. [X-Men #184]

After a long courtship, Black Bolt (Blackagar Boltagon, age 53), king of the Inhumans, finally wed his cousin Medusa (Medusalith Amaquelin, age 49). [Fantastic Four Annual #18]

September 1984

As the ancient gods of Earth became enraged by the sorcery of Circe and were on the verge of war, the heroes Captain Marvel (Billy Batson), Hercules, Thor, Wonder Woman (Princess Diana of Themyscira) and others tried to intervene to prevent disaster.

Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs transferred from the New York Police Department to the Miami Metro-Dade Organized Crime Bureau-Vice Division in order to pursue his brother’s killer, Esteban “The Columbian” Calderone. There, he was partnered with James “Sonny” Crockett.

The West Coast Avengers team was founded in Los Angeles by the Avenger Hawkeye (Clint Barton, age 39) in order to expand the Avengers’ influence. Hawkeye recruited his wife Mockingbird (Dr. Bobbi Morse, age 39), Wonder Man (Simon Williams), Tigra (Greer Grant Nelson, age 32) and Iron Man (Jim Rhodes, age 34) as co-founding members.

After tunneling to the surface, the ancient Cybertronian spacecraft that had been reawakened by the Mount St. Helens eruption in May 1980 began to awaken the robots on board. The Decepticon contingent revived first and escaped before the Autobots were awakened. The Autobots awakened next and immediately began repairing their spacecraft for flight, even as they vowed to remain on Earth until the Decepticon traitors could be found.

Storm (Ororo Munroe, age 32) lost her mutant weather-controlling powers when accidentally struck by the prototype of a “neutralizer” that had been intended for her X-Men teammate Rogue (Anna Marie Raven, age 19).

October 1984

The efforts of Captain Marvel, Hercules and Wonder Woman to prevent the “War of the Gods” on Earth proved successful, as the Olympian, Egyptian, African and Babylonian gods were all freed of the influence of the sorceress Circe. In doing so, however, Wonder Woman sacrificed her own life, as Circe turned her back into the clay from which she had been formed. Meanwhile, in Asgard, Thor prepared for the fire demons of Surtur, whose desire for war went beyond the influence of Circe.

In Hawkins, Indiana, Will Byers began having visions of a shadow-monster from the “Upside Down” dimension in Hawkins, Indiana.

On October 12, U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly escaped injury when the IRA planted a bomb in the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, where she and her cabinet were staying for the Conservative Party conference. However, five people were killed and 31 others injured in the attack.

November 1984

After his friend Mikey Tandino was murdered, Detroit police detective Axel Foley (b. 1959) asked to investigate the case, but his boss, Inspector Douglas Todd, refused because of Foley’s close personal ties to Tandino. Unable to let it go, Foley asked for vacation time and followed his friend’s killers to Beverly Hills, California. [Beverly Hills Cop]

Unhappy with the department’s more aggressive tactics in developing new super-powered agents, Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, retired from the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI).

Working in secret from within, Circe manipulated the hearts of the Amazons and created an uprising that swelled into a civil war, with each faction blaming the other for the war and for the death of Diana. Alone among the Amazons, 14-year-old Artemis (b. 1970) spoke out against the war. When the Amazons were at their weakest, Circe had the entire island transported into a demon dimension to be preyed upon. Instead, the Amazons united again and fought valiantly against the demons, holding their own for the next ten years. After the Amazons disappeared, Donna Troy (age 33), formerly known as Wonder Girl, took on the title of Wonder Woman. [Note that this is a significant revision: the original sources have the “War of the Gods” actually occurring, and taking place in 1991. However, those same sources had Themyscira emerging from the demon dimension in 1994 after ten years, which should mean that the conflict began in 1984. Moreover, moving the date back helps avoid the entire Post-Crisis Wonder Woman reboot, which started nobly but in retrospect was a mess.]

December 1984

The fire demon Surtur and his army made their final attacks on Asgard and Earth, but were turned back. On Earth, Beta Ray Bill, Captain Marvel and their allies drove back the demon horde. In Asgard, Odin sacrificed himself, falling back through the dimensional portal with Surtur in order to close it and end the threat.

On the trail of his friend Mikey Tandino’s killers, Detroit police detective Axel Foley initially clashed with Beverly Hills police officers Sergeant John Taggart, Detective Billy Rosewood, and Lieutenant Andrew Bogomil. Ultimately, however, they worked together to solve the case. [Beverly Hills Cop]

The Mutant Registration Act went into effect in the United States.

1985

Under five different Governors, the Skrulls became entrenched in a war with the Kree. Eventually, the Skrulls were united by S’byll, who ended the war and established herself as the new Empress.

Cyberdyne Systems began researching and developing artificial intelligence and robot technology from parts that it had recovered of the Series 800 Terminator from Earth-J.

Based on its previous Crimson Dynamo program, the Soviet Union began working on a new round of mechanized personal armor technology, dubbed “Rocket Red.”

January 1985

Former Chicago plainclothes police detective Dick Tracy died of congestive heart failure at his home in Chicago, Illinois at age 84. Surviving him were his wife of 35 years, Tess Tracy (age 74), his adopted son Dick Jr. (an author and artist living in Chicago, age 58), his daughter Bonnie (a teacher living in Washington state, age 33), and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Natalie Romanoff, a test-tube clone of former spy Natalia “Natasha” Romanova (a.k.a. “Black Widow,” age 46), was born in a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. Executive Director Nick Fury (age 65) then gave the baby to her “mother,” Natalia, to raise.

February 1985

At age 21, Elizabeth Twoyoungmen gained shamanistic powers. She adopted the alias “Talisman” and joined the team Alpha Flight.

Donna Troy (a.k.a. Wonder Woman, age 34) married her boyfriend Terry Long.

Doc Samson (Dr. Leonard Samson, age 44) was offered a spot on the Avengers’ roster, but declined because he had accepted a teaching position at Northwestern University.

On February 28, John Connor was born to Sarah Connor. (Kyle Reese from Earth-J was his father.)

March 1985

Near where mass-murderer Jason Voorhees was buried, psychic-sensitive teenager Tommy Jarvis (b. 1970) began suffering from hallucinations and feeling compelled to continue Voorhees’ legacy of murder.

Konstantin Chernenko died on March 10, and on March 22, Mikhail Gorbachev (b. 1931) became the new head of the Soviet Union (1985-1991).

April 1985

Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 39) freed himself from the alien symbiote that had served as a new costume for him but had slowly been taking control of his mind. [Web of Spider-Man #1]

The Anti-Monitor destroyed the “Earth-Three” universe, the alternate, parallel universe that had been home to the evil Crime Syndicate of America. This was one of 52 parallel worlds where the Monitor had constructed “cosmic tuning forks” to dampen the Anti-Monitor’s power. With the Monitor’s final plan exposed, he sent his apprentice, Habinger, to begin recruiting heroes. She divided herself into multiple copies and traveled to each of the different worlds simultaneously, with a mission to bring back one or more representatives from each world. Meanwhile, the Anti-Monitor’s Qwardian slaves begin working on building an antimatter cannon powerful enough to destroy the tuning forks. [My interpretation of Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, with considerable changes]

Just prior to Earth-Three’s destruction, that planet’s sole hero, Alexis “Lex” Luthor and his wife Lois Lane Luthor launched their son Alexander in a special rocket that permeated the dimensional barrier, allowing him to land safely on Earth in the Anti-Monitor’s Antimatter universe (a.k.a. Earth-Q). There, he would be raised in an orphanage in San Francisco, but would some day rise to become that world’s sole hero as well. [I didn't like how the Crisis story used baby Lex III as an unnecessary deus ex machina, but his parallels to Superman's origin story are fascinating.]

May 1985

The many duplicates of Harbinger brought back representatives from each of the parallel universes targeted by the Monitor for the final battle with the Anti-Monitor. From our own universe, Harbinger recruited King Solovar (age 39) of Gorilla City; from the Earth-M universe, she recruited the member of the Legion of Super Heroes known as Dawnstar; and so on. After explaining the situation to these envoys, and that they would need to defend the Monitor’s cosmic tuning forks in order to give their universes a fighting chance, they were sent back to their own universes to recruit more heroes. One of the copies of Harbinger that returned, however, had been corrupted by the Anti-Monitor’s shadow demons, and when she recombined into one being, that corruption began to take control of her mind, poisoning her against her mentor. [My interpretation of the Crisis on Infinite Earths]

John Rambo (age 38) was offered clemency and release from prison in exchange for assisting the U.S. Army in documenting the possible existence of POWs in Vietnam. Returning to the camp where he himself was held as a POW during the Vietnam War, Rambo indeed discovered that POWs were being held. Against his orders to merely observe, he fought their captors to help free them. [Rambo: First Blood Part II]

The murderous vigilante organization “Scourges of the Underworld” was formed, and over the next several years would assassinate a number of supervillains and criminals who operated “above the law.” Among its benefactors was 73-year-old Thomas Halloway, who had fought crime in Los Angeles in the 1940s as “The Angel” and later served in the U.S. Secret Service. The first criminal assassinated was “The Enforcer” (Charles Delazny, Jr.), who was killed by his own brother Phillip, the first “Scourge,” in May 1985.

On May 13, while in an armed standoff with black liberation group MOVE, Philadelphia police dropped two one-pound bombs, targeting a fortified, bunker-like cubicle on the roof of the row housing where the group was stationed. The resulting explosions ignited a fire that eventually destroyed 65 nearby houses. Fearing that MOVE members would shoot at firefighters, police gave orders to let the fires burn. An investigation later determined that police had used excessive force.

June 1985

In our universe, Solovar contacted his friend Barry Allen (The Flash, age 52), the world’s fastest man, to help spread the word to many of Earth’s other heroes and begin defending the cosmic tuning fork tower hidden in the jungle near Gorilla City. The Flash was captured, however, and taken to the Anti-Monitor’s Antimatter Universe. On Earth-G, Kamandi led a band of heroes to the cosmic tuning fork tower on his world and successfully defended it against the first wave of attacks from the Anti-Monitor’s shadow demons. Many other worlds had already fallen to the Anti-Monitor, though. [My interpretation of the Crisis on Infinite Earths]

At age 47, the second “James Bond” (real name Simon Templar) retired from the British Secret Service.

Marc Spector (age 42) had decided to give up being the Moon Knight, but after hearing the ancient god Khonshu imploring him again in his dreams, he again returned to Egypt, where the priests of Khonshu outfitted him with new weapons, and he accepted his destiny as the “Fist of Khonshu.”

July 1985

Heroes across multiple parallel Earths were by now actively engaged against the Anti-Monitor’s shadow demons, who were trying to attack the Monitor’s cosmic tuning forks to clear a path for their master. It was at this point that the Anti-Monitor chose to use its mind-control over Harbinger to have her attack and kill the Monitor. However, the Monitor had anticipated this move, and his life force was channeled into an added layer of defense for the remaining universes. This sudden surge in power drove off the Anti-Monitor, who was moments away from annihilating three universes. The surge in power also allowed Harbinger to regain control of her own mind, and she learned of the Monitor’s final plans thanks to a recording her had left for her. Using their combined technical know-how, Pariah and several of the alternate universe Reed Richards managed to activate a stable, interdimensional portal to the Antimatter Universe, allowing a group of heroes to enter the Anti-Monitor’s home universe to attack him. During the battle, Superman (Kal-El, age 65 in Earth years) was injured by the Anti-Monitor and cried out in pain. His cousin, Supergirl (Kara Zor-El, age 41 in Earth years), then rushed to his aid and furiously attacked the Anti-Monitor, critically wounding it, but was killed in turn by the Anti-Monitor’s counterattack.

The Anti-Monitor then ordered its Qwardian slaves to fire the antimatter cannon they had been building. However, the Flash (Barry Allen, age 52) escaped captivity and circled the cannon’s energy core thousands of times at tremendous speeds, forcing the unstable antimatter back on itself and destroying the weapon. In doing so, however, he ran so fast that he disintegrated, his physical body dying as his spirit entered the Speed Force.

Alerted to the attack on Earth from Oa, the Guardians of the Universe were split on how to respond to the crisis. One faction revived Guy Garner (age 43), the former back-up Green Lantern of Sector 2814, who had been in a coma since 1979. Giving him a new power ring, they assigned him to lead a special strike force, comprising some of Earth’s most dangerous and powerful criminals, to attack the Anti-Monitor on Qward. Unfortunately, this alerted Earth’s top villains to the crisis. With the heroes of Earth largely occupied fighting the Anti-Monitor, Alexei Luthor (age 71, but kept artificially young by the technology of planet Lexor) organized his own coalition of supervillains to prepare to take over the planet. However, in-fighting soon led the group to split, as Victor von Doom (age 57) killed Luthor for going against the rest of the Intelligencia. Meanwhile, the monster Chemo, a member of Luthor’s crew, killed Aquagirl (Tula, age 33) while attempting to poison the water of Hudson Bay.

The Anti-Monitor made another attack, but was met by the Spectre, who was bolstered by all of Earth’s sorcerers, including two of the most powerful: our dimension’s Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Stephen Strange (age 73) and Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson, age 79). The counterattack weakened the Anti-Monitor significantly, but also left all of those involved in a comatose state. Doctor Fate was killed from the strain.

The weakened Anti-Monitor and his shadow demons then made one final effort, swarming the cosmic tuning fork tower in an effort that guarded our universe in an effort to end the Multiverse once and for all. Dozens of heroes perished in the ensuing battle, including the Thing (Ben Grimm, age 61, but biologically age 47), Moon Knight (Marc Spector, age 42), Falcon (Sam Wilson, Sr., age 39), Animal Man (Buddy Baker, age 38), Dove (Don Hall, age 35) and the Huntress (Helena Kyle, age 28). Also during this battle, the Justice League’s satellite headquarters was destroyed.

Facing what he believed was imminent death, Green Lantern John Stewart (age 39) started down his attackers, took off his power ring and shouted, “Hal Jordan!” At his command, the ring transported itself to its former wearer. Learning what was happening, Jordan (age 49) once again accepted the mantle of Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 and raced to the fight. When he arrived, he found that Stewart had been rescued as the Guardians of the Universe and the entire Green Lantern Corps had arrived. Together with Superman, Thor, Doctor Light and others, they fought and drove the Anti-Monitor back into the Antimatter universe. Once there, Star-Lord (Alan Peter Quill, age 42), who had traveled across several galaxies to retrieve the “Ultimate Nullifier” weapon from Galactus, used it upon the Anti-Monitor. Both Star-Lord and the Anti-Monitor perished in the process, but the threat was ended. [My interpretation of the Crisis on Infinite Earths]

After the battle, Marc Spector (age 42), the Moon Knight, was once again resurrected by his god Khonshu. Rising from the battlefield, he returned to the U.S. to complete his divine mission.

Much of nearby Gorilla City had been devastated by the attacks, and relief aid soon poured in from Wakanda. Many of the heroes, including Superman, stayed for months to help rebuild.

The mummudrai parasitic lifeform attached to Charles Xavier (biologically age 33) had by this time developed its own identity and personality: “Cassandra Nova.” A mummudrai’s usual course of action would have been to completely take over its host, but as an Omega-level telepath, Xavier proved too strong. Instead, the mummudrai projected its consciousness into another a weaker human’s body, and then used its powers to slowly realign that person’s physical form to match the vision of itself that it had created, down to having Charles Xavier’s mutant genetics. Still psychically connected to Xavier as well, the mummudrai began plotting the downfall of all Xavier held dear.

On July 25, actor Rock Hudson announced that he was dying of AIDS, one of the first high-profile cases of the disease. He would pass away on October 2.

August 1985

As the dust began to settle, the Guardians of the Universe began to discuss the consequences of their hesitation in responding to the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” (or just the “Crisis” for short), which had left 14 of their brethren and 912 of their 3,600 Green Lantern Corpsmen dead, including Tomar-Re, the storied Green Lantern of Sector 2813. With Hall Jordan now serving as the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 again, the open position in Sector 2813 was offered to John Stewart, which he accepted with heavy heart.

Following the destruction of the Justice League Satellite, Aquaman (Arthur Curry, age 44) took it upon himself to reorganize the team and become its leader for a while. J’onn J’onzz (The Martian Manhunter, age 93 in Earth years, or 49 in Martian ords) rejoined the JL at this time, and veterans Zatanna Zatara (age 34) and Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny, age 46) also came along. Henry “Hank” Heywood III (age 19), the son of Omni Consumer Products (OCP) vice president Henry Heywood, Jr. (age 41), offered the new, Aquaman-led team the use of one of his father’s industrial warehouses as a new headquarters in Detroit. An enhanced cyborg, he also became a member of the team, using the same alias his grandfather had used in World War II: “Commander Steel.” (He would later shorten this to just “Steel.”) Other new recruits included Detroit native Vibe (Cisco Ramon, age 24), and recent Detroit newcomers Gypsy (Cindy Reynolds, age 14) and Vixen (Mari Jiwe McCabe, age 25).

In New York, recent high school graduate Jessica Jones (age 18) decided to put her powers to use as a superhero and decided on the alias “Jewel.” Her career as Jewel would be mostly uneventful, however.

Learning that Star-Lord (Alan Peter Quill) had disappeared, Emperor Eson of Spartax sent his son Prince J’son to his home planet Earth to try to find him. J’son tracked down Quill’s only known living family, his sister Meredith, but she did not know of her brother’s whereabouts. However, she and J’son (who introduced himself as “Jason”) were attracted to each other and a romance soon blossomed.

A private detective going by the alias of “Remington Steele” was recruited into MI6 after his associate Laura Holt was killed by the KGB in Ireland. No longer wishing to go by the name he had adopted while working with Holt, Steele changed his alias briefly to “Harry Chalmers.”

Members of the executive branch of the U.S. government began selling weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages. At the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, a portion of the proceeds from those weapon sales was diverted to fund anti-Sandinista and anti-communist rebels, a.k.a. Contras, in Nicaragua. These secret arms deals would become known as the “Iran-Contra Affair.”

The villain Black Mask (Roman Sionis) debuted in Boston.

“The Gathering” occurred. Connor MacLeod (age 467) decapitated the Kurgan, becoming the last of his kind. He then received “The Prize”—a complete psychic connection to everyone and everything in the world. Now mortal, he returned to live in his original homeland in the Scottish Highlands. [Highlander]

On August 31, former heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed was killed in the ring during an exhibition match with Russian boxer Ivan Drago.

September 1985

Following the death of his friend and one-time foe Apollo Creed, Rocky Balboa came out of semi-retirement to announce a Christmas Day exhibition fight against Ivan Drago in Russia.

Nomad (Jack Monroe) ended his partnership with Captain America (Steve Rogers) and struck out on his own, although the two would still occasionally work together. Apart from Rogers’ influence, Monroe became increasingly aggressive and unstable.

Harold (“Happy,” age 49) and Virginia (age 42) Hogan were kidnapped by Obadiah Stane in an effort to lure Iron Man (Tony Stark, age 46) into a trap. After being rescued, Virginia told Stark, “Stay out of our lives!” Stark respected their wishes, but the strain of the kidnapping proved too much for Happy and Virginia’s struggling marriage, and they were divorced soon afterward.

Meredith Quill (age 34) became pregnant with the child of Prince J’son of Spartax, who was staying with her while on Earth.

The Tournament of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven, which occurs once every 88 years when the Capital Cities converge to form the “Heart of Heaven,”was interrupted by HYDRA operatives planning to destroy K’un-Lun. The champions of the Seven Cities banded together to stop them. [The Immortal Iron Fist #8-14; I know this was published mush later, but I feel it works best in 1985, since it is supposed to happen when Danny Rand is on the verge of turning 33.]

Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Nicholas “Goose” Bradshaw was killed during a training exercise at the five-week United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (also known as “TOPGUN”) program. His F-14A Tomcat pilot Lt. Peter “Maverick” Mitchell was cleared of wrongdoing in the incident, but was shaken over his friend’s death. [Top Gun]

October 1985

Jenny Matrix, the 13-year-old daughter of Colonel John Matrix, a retired green beret, was kidnapped by the agents of former Bolivian dictator Celso Torrelio. Torrelio blackmailed Matrix to help him carry out a political coup by assassinating Bolivia’s current President, Víctor Paz Estenssoro (b. 1907). Matrix had ousted Torrelio’s predecessor, Luis García Meza Tejada, and Torrelio blamed him for his own downfall as well. In addition, he knew that Estenssoro knew and trusted Matrix implicitly, so he believed Matrix could carry out the assassination. With Jenny’s life on the line, Matrix reluctantly accepted the demand. After boarding the plane to Bolivia, however, Matrix managed to kill his guard and jump from the plane just as it was taking off. With approximately 11 hours (the time of the flight) until he was discovered, Matrix managed to locate Torrelio’s villa, kill Torrelio’s entire private militia in a gunfight, and rescue his daughter. [Commando]

Shortly after graduation from the U.S. Navy’s TOPGUN program, pilots Lt. Peter “Maverick” Mitchell and Lt. Thomas “Iceman” Kazanski completed a dangerous mission, wherein they shot down four North Korean MiG-29s while providing air support for a communications ship that had drifted into hostile waters. Afterward, Mitchell would choose to return to TOPGUN as an instructor. [Top Gun]

Tony Stark (age 46) once again resumed the identity of Iron Man.

On his 33rd birthday, Iron Fist (Danny Rand) managed to avoid an ancient assassin, and belived that made him safe from the Iron Fist curse of dying at age 33. He and the other Immortal Weapons then embarked on a quest for the secret “Eighth City.” [The Immortal Iron Fist #22-26]

Dr. Henry Pym (age 51) began working part-time as a scientific advisor and compound manager for the West Coast Avengers.

In the Andromeda Galaxy, the planet Xandar was completely destroyed by the space pirate Nebula.

Going into premature labor, Madelyne Summers (age 25) gave birth to Nathan Christopher Charles Summers at the Xavier School while the X-Men were away. Shortly afterward, the mutant (Homo sapiens superior) potential that had lain dormant within her until this point suddenly began to activate and she began to develop telepathic and telekinetic powers. Moreover, she began to have psychic visions that she couldm’t explain. Over time, she would come to realize that she was experiencing the memories of her late “sister” Jean Grey through the psychic bond she never realized they shared. [Madelyne gains Jean Grey's powers. Jean stays dead.]

November 1985

Aquaman (Arthur Curry) stepped down as leader of the Justice League, citing personal reasons, as he wanted to concentrate on trying to salvage his marriage to Mera.

After being exposed to a large dose of radiation, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters, age 34) found that she was no longer able to change back to her human form.

Fantastic Four member Sue Storm Richards (age 48, but biologically age 34), who had long gone by the alias “Invisible Girl,” announced that she wanted to be called “Invisible Woman” from now on.

The Phoenix Force sensed an anomaly in Rachel Summers (age 29), the daughter of its previous host from an alternate universe. It bonded with her, and she adopted the Phoenix alias and costume as her own. However, the Phoenix Force had difficulty bonding with her, as she was not a native of this universe. [X-Men #199]

December 1985

Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, age 38) became pregnant with twins. As her husband, Vision, was an android, she used magic to make this possible.

On Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, former heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa (age 39) defeated Russian boxer Ivan Drago (age 28) in Moscow, Russia, in what many billed as the best fight of Balboa’s career. Balboa suffered a severe concussion during the fight, however, and ended his boxing career again afterward due to lingering health concerns.

1986

Access to the TCP/IP network (“Internet”) expanded again when the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) provided access to supercomputer sites in the United States from research and education organizations. Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) would soon begin to emerge.

With a higher crime rate than any other city in the U.S., Detroit Mayor Coleman Young signed a deal with Omni Consumer Products (OCP) allowing them to privatize several city services. OCP was also given the right to demolish several run-down sections of the city under eminent domain laws in order to build a planned community called “Delta City,” to be managed by OCP.

Self-made billionaire Lionel Luthor (age 38), the CEO and founder LexCorp (San Jose, California), emerged as a major business tycoon. He also followed in his namesake uncle’s footsteps by secretly becoming a criminal mastermind.

In the Shi’ar Empire, the human mutant Vul (Gabriel Summers, age 27) escaped from the slave pits of Alsibar. Swearing revenge upon Empress Lilandra, whom he blamed for putting him there, he joined the “Secret Order,” a Shi’ar faction dedicated to removing her from power and restoring former Emperor D’Ken (who still remained comatose following his December 1977 battle with the X-Men).

With Ben Grimm now dead, his widow Alicia Masters (age 47) and best friend Johnny Storm (age 41) began to develop romantic feelings for one another, and Johnny became more involved in helping raise Ben’s young son, Daniel (age 9).

The mutant-hating John Sublime, a sentient bacteria colony in the form of a man, covertly stole Emma Frost’s eggs in order to use them in his genetic experiments.

While fighting Stryfe in Uruguay, Cable’s Six Pack was trapped in a bunker that exploded. [Cable: Blood & Metal #2]

January 1986

At age 46, James Gordon, Jr. was promoted to Commissioner of the Boston Police Department.

Following the death of Barry Allen, Wally West (age 35) officially took over as the new Flash.

Dr. Leonard Samson (a.k.a. Doc Samson, age 45) managed to separate Dr. Bruce Banner (age 49) and the Hulk into two separate physical entities. Banner fell into a severe coma and was hospitalized, while S.H.I.E.L.D. took away the unconscious Hulk with the intention of destroying him. Samson disagreed with this approach and freed the Hulk, who immediately attacked S.H.I.E.L.D. and killed several men. Regretting his decision, Samson then vowed to catch and kill the Hulk.

On January 24, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest flyby of Uranus, providing the first images of that planet.

On January 28, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds into flight on its tenth mission, killing all seven of its crew. The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident.

February 1986

All of the surviving founding X-Men were recruited for a project called X-Factor, where they would pose as mutant hunters while actually operating as a secret front to help train mutants to control their powers. Based in New York City, Warren Worthington III (alias “Angel,” age 40), Henry “Hank” McCoy (alias “Beast,” age 39), Scott Summers (alias “Cyclops,” age 38) and Robert “Bobby” Drake (alias “Iceman,” age 37) were joined by Scott’s wife, the new “Marvel Girl” Madelyne Summers (age 25). [X-Factor #1, except Jean Grey stays dead.]

Amid criticism that his administration was not doing enough to address the AIDS epidemic, President Ronald Reagan authorized his Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, to prepare a report.

After showing remarkable aptitude, the MI6 agent going by the alias “Harry Chalmers” (and formerly known as “Remington Steele”) was promoted to the Double-O division of British Intelligence, where he was assigned the number 007. At this time, he adopted the alias long associated with that number, “James Bond,” becoming the third person to use that name.

The Asgardian Brunnhilde the Valkyrie was apparently turned into a statue and killed. However, the powerful enchantment that had bound her for centuries preserved her spirit.

Northwind (Norda Cantrell, age 21) and Infinity Inc. helped the Bird People of Feithera relocate to a new city, New Feithera, when their ancestral home was threatened by an encroaching glacier in northern Greenland.

Michael Jon Carter was born December 29, 2442 in Boston in the alternate, parallel universe of Earth-Penta, which is 476 years further into the future than our own universe (here, it was 1966). A gifted college athlete, he ended up throwing his career away by fixing games for his father’s gambling. After being kicked out of school, he got a job as a security guard at the Space Museum in San Francisco. After a dimension-hoping Legion of Super Heroes left behind some 30th century technology from the Earth-M universe, it ended up at the museum. With the help of the museum’s security robot, Skeets, Carter stole those items, including a flight ring, a force-field belt and the device that allowed travel between parallel universes. Using the latter, Carter traveled to the San Francisco of our universe, where he used his futuristic technology to become a superhero. He had intended to call himself “Goldstar,” but after bungling his words, he introduced himself as a combination of this and his childhood nickname “Booster,” becoming known as Booster Gold.

March 1986

Prince J’son of Spartax learned that his father, Emperor Eson had died. He left Earth and raced back to his home world to lead his empire, leaving behind Meredith Quill who was pregnant with his child.

In a modified version of her deceased husband’s exoskeleton suit, Heather Hudson (age 38) took over the mantle of Vindicator. Her friend Wolverine (Logan, age 94) helped train her to hold her own in a fight.

April 1986

The Guardians of the Universe announced that they were leaving planet Oa for an undisclosed period of time, leaving the Green Lantern Corps to govern itself. Before doing so, they instituted a policy of temporarily decommissioning some of the 3,600 traditional sectors of space in order to reassign Corpsmen to focus on “hot spots” within the universe. Given the recent events on Earth and the perceived dimensional instability still present there, they assigned a strike force of seven Corpsmen to patrol that region of space for a period of two Earth years: Earthmen Hal Jordan and John Stewart, Stewart’s wife Katma Tui, Arisia, Ch’p, Kilowog and Salakk. In addition, Guy Gardner of Earth was not an official member of this strike force, but sometimes assisted them as he was operating out of Earth with the power ring that he had gained during the Crisis.

Citing irrefutable proof that the Libyan government had been responsible for a terrorist bombing attack in berlin on April 5, U.S. President Ronald Reagan authorized air strikes against Libya on April 15. This proved to be a controversial action within the international community, and was condemned as a violation of international law by many nations.

On April 26, an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine, U.S.S.R. released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the Soviet Union and Europe. It was the deadliest and costliest nuclear accident to date. The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles. During the accident itself, 31 people died, and the long-term effects such as cancer are still not fully understood.

May 1986

Ronnie Raymond (age 22) graduated from college at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Bruce Banner (a.k.a. the Hulk) was married to his long-time love interest Betty Ross.

Danny Rand (Iron Fist, age 33) and Misty Knight (age 35) moved in together, and he asked her to marry him. She accepted and revealed that she was pregnant with his child. [The Immortal Iron Fist #27]

June 1986

On one of his first assignments as a Double-O, the new James Bond (agent 007) infiltrated a Soviet chemical weapons facility at Arkhangelsk along with Alec Trevelyan (agent 006). After planting explosive charges, Bond escaped but Trevelyan was apparently killed.

In Ohio, Meredith Quill gave birth to Peter Jason Quill, the half-human, half-Spartoi son of Emperor J’son of Spartax.

In San Francisco's Chinatown, truck driver Jack Burton, restaurant owner Wang Chi and lawyer Gracie Law became involved in a battle between the Chang Sing and Wing Kong, two ancient Chinese societies, as they rescued Wang's fiancée, Miao Yin, from the centuries-old Chinese sorcerer Lo Pan. The authorities later investigated reports of Chinatown being engulfed by "green fire," but were unable to corroborate any of the accounts.

On Friday, June 13, Tommy Jarvis (age 16) dug up Jason Voorhees’ grave and discovered that the mass-murderer was still alive, unleashing him onto the world yet again.

July 1986

Zatara the Magician (John Zatara, father of Zatanna Zatara) and Sargon the Sorcerer (John Sargent) were killed.

Michael Jon Carter’s twin sister Michelle followed him from the alternate, parallel universe of Earth-Penta to our own universe. Here, she became the costumed hero Goldstar.

August 1986

Wade Wilson (Deadpool) escaped from Dr. Killebrew and exposed the horrors of Weapon X. The Canadian government again shut down the Weapon X program, this time for good. Wilson, meanwhile, disappeared and would begin putting his talents to use as a mercenary again.

September 1986

After 14 years on the run, the A-Team was finally captured.

When his mentor Peter Thornton (age 52) left the Department of External Services (DXS) and became the Director of Field Operations for the Phoenix Foundation, he took his best agent, Angus MacGyver (age 35), with him.

Power Man (Luke Cage, age 46) and Iron Fist (Daniel Rand, age 33) tried to help a 12-year-old boy named Bobby Wright who transformed into an unstable, super-powered adult alter-ego “Captain Hero.” Rand was sitting vigil in Wright’s hospital room when the boy awoke confused and in intense pain. Without realizing what he was doing, he transformed into Captain Hero and beat Rand, seemingly to death. However, Rand was rescued by an agent of K’un-Lun disguised as New York City police officer Tyrone King. He was stolen back to that mystical city, where he spent the next several years in stasis, healing. Cage was accused of Rand’s murder, though, and found himself on the run from the law.

Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, age 39) gave birth to her two magically conceived sons, Thomas and William.

October 1986

A group of mutant assassins known as the Marauders (who had been organized by Mister Sinister) attacked the subterranean “Morlock” community of mutants living beneath New York City, massacring the majority of them. The X-Men, X-Factor, Power Pack and Thor worked to save the few survivors, but several of these heroes were injured in the process. Angel (Warren Worthington III, age 39) was crucified by the Marauders and suffered traumatic damage to his wings; they would need to be amputated soon afterward.

In exchange for a full presidential pardon, the A-Team agreed to perform a number of missions for the U.S. government, reporting to Gen. Hunt Stockwell.

S.H.I.E.L.D. and Dr. Leonard Samson (a.k.a. Doc Samson, age 46) attempted to re-merge Dr. Bruce Banner (age 50) and the Hulk, but an accident caused Banner’s transformation into the Gray Hulk.

Under the direction of Omni Consumer Products, police officers in several Detroit districts were reassigned in order to maximize the chances that prime candidates would be put in harm’s way and thus made available for the RoboCop program. [RoboCop]

In Detroit, Alan Reid (b. 1965), the nephew of Brit Reid II, became the third Green Hornet, and Hayashi Kato (age 37) returned from Hollywood to work as his partner. Alan was killed on Tuesday, October 7 while on his very first mission, and Hayashi blamed himself.

November 1986

During a board meeting at Omni Consumer Products (OCP), Chairman Dr. Michael Martin (known throughout the company simply as “The Old Man”) stated his vision for the “Delta City” construction project: “Detroit has a cancer. The cancer is crime. And it must be cut out before we employ the two million workers that will breathe life into this city again.” Later in that same meeting, senior vice president Dick Jones presented OCP’s prototype ED-209 enforcement droid with disastrous results, as the robot malfunctioned and killed a board member. The ED-209 program was cancelled and Dr. Martin called for the company to pursue the “RoboCop” prototype instead, which had been proposed by rival executive Bob Morton based on the secret Hank Heywood bionics program. [RoboCop]

Professor Martin Stein (age 59) learned that he had terminal cancer.

On November 3, details regarding the Iran-Contra Affair was exposed, as the U.S. government’s weapons-for-hostages deals were first publicly revealed.

On November 20, the United Nations adopted a resolution condemning the U.S. attack on Libya in April. In response to this, U.S. President Ronald Reagan secretly organized “Task Force Omega” to advise him on how to best organize covert responses to threats in a world increasingly hostile to America. (The name of the task force hearkened back to “Task Force X,” which had advised President Truman following World War II.)

On November 25, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced the creation of a Special Review Board (later known as the Tower Commission) to look into the Iran-Contra matter. Although the President denied having knowledge of the deals and would ultimately emerge from the scandal relatively unscathed, it would bog down his administration for months.

December 1986

After being critically wounded in the line of duty, Detroit police officer Alex J. Murphy was declared dead. However, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) was able to revive him for its RoboCop program using cyubernetic technology. His memories were erased and he was turned into a programmable cyborg police officer. [Robocop]

1987

After Canada’s Weapon X program was shut down, genetic scientist John Sublime (actually a colony of sentient bacteria) moved back across the Atlantic, where he established his own research facility, called “The World,” in northern England. There, sponsored by several governments and nonprofit organizations under false pretenses, he continued the Weapon X research program to create weaponizable metahumans. Secretly, however, his mission was to create a line of “Super Sentinels” capable of eliminating mutantkind from Earth.

Only eight years old, Kit Walker XXII (b. 1979) became the 22nd Phantom in Bangalla, Tanzania, Africa when his father, the 21st (age 46), died. As the youngest Phantom ever, it would actually be several years before young Kit was actually comfortable wearing the costume and fully acting as the immortal defender of Bangalla.

John Sublime and his staff created over a thousand genetically-modified clones of the mutant telepath Emma Frost at “The World” genetic research facility in northern England, which he planned to eventually use as weapons to destroy all of mutantkind.

January 1987

Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released his comprehensive report on AIDS, which went far beyond the conservative policies President Reagan had expected, and urged the widespread distribution of condoms as a preventive measure.

Los Angeles Police Department Homicide Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (b. December 21, 1936) is partnered with Narcotics Sergeant Martin Riggs (b. October 16, 1949). After a volatile start, the new partners would end up busting a heroin-smuggling operation run by former-special operations forces from the Vietnam War, known as “Shadow Company.” [Lethal Weapon]

When a group of Avengers enemies broke into Avengers Mansion, Captain America was forced to watch while they beat Edwin Jarvis (age 64) mercilessly. Jarvis would eventually recover, but lost the use of his left eye and had a permanent limp.

In New York City, Misty Knight (age 36) gave birth to Marissa “Missy” Knight, the daughter of Danny Rand, the fiancé that she belived had passed away months prior but who was actually in a healing stasis chamber in K’un-Lun.

Justice League of America members Vibe (Paco Ramone) and Steel (Henry “Hank” Heywood III, age 21) were killed fighting androids belonging to the villain Professor Ivo. The Detroit-based Justice League team soon disbanded. JL member Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny, age 47) chose to retire from crime fighting at this time.

In the Soviet Union, Josef Denisovich debuted as the first Rocket Red pilot. After encountering the alien Green Lantern known as Kilowog, the two became friends.

February 1987

After assessing the threat level, Task Force Omega recommended to Ronald Reagan that it be made a permanent institution, reporting directly to the U.S. President. Amanda Waller (b. 1940) was hired to act as Executive Director. “The Wall” quickly organized Task Force Omega into two divisions: “Checkmate” to gather intelligence, and “Suicide Squad” to carry out missions.

In the Soviet Union, the Rocket Red Brigade officially debuted, as piloted, armored suits #2 through #7 came online. The program continued to suffer several glitches behind the scenes, however, although suit #7 showed immediate promise.

In Detroit, the cyborg police officer known as RoboCop awakened from his reconstructive surgery, but without any memories of his former life as Alex J. Murphy. [Robocop]

March 1987

After disappearing in a nuclear experiment in 1968, Nathaniel Christopher Adam reappeared. Now bonded with the metal of the vessel he had been in and having “Quantum Field” powers similar to the original “Captain Atom,” Adam became the second hero to take that name.

Their debt paid and their presidential pardon secured, the A-Team retired from Gen. Hunt Stockwell’s strike force and disappeared again.

When Rocket Red #1 (Josef Denisovich) turned against him, the alien Green Lantern known as Kilowog was forced to kill his former friend.

April 1987

Retired Gen. Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross died (at the age of 70). As he died, he finally saw the Hulk as more than just a monster and gave his blessing to the relationship between Dr. Banner and his daughter Betty (b. 1941). After his death, however, the Hulkbusters continued to pursue the Hulk under the direction of General Ryker and Ross’ son (from his second marriage) Thaddeus, Jr. (b. 1955), himself a Colonel in the Air Force.

Depressed from the loss of his wings, Warren Worthington III (a.k.a. Angel) seemingly committed suicide by blowing up his single-person aircraft. However, he had actually been teleported aboard the spacecraft of Apocalypse, who then destroyed the aircraft. Apocalypse would rebuild Angel’s wings out of razor-sharp techno-organic metal, and turn him into the last of his “Four Horsemen of Apocalypse.” [X-Force #15]

Wasp (Janet Van Dyne, age 48) retired her post as leader of the Avengers and gave up costumed crime fighting.

After several weeks of tests and training, RoboCop was put into active duty on the Detroit police force. [Robocop]

May 1987

Rick Flag, Jr. (age 50) was called in to lead the new “Suicide Squad” team for the Amanda Waller’s Task Force Omega. This updated version of the team operated out of the federal government’s top-secret Belle Reve Penitentiary in Terrebonne Parrish, Louisiana. Under Waller’s directive, it incorporated incarcerated supervillains who acted as deniable assets for the government, undertaking high-risk black-ops missions in exchange for commuted prison sentences. The line-up of these “reformed” villains included Blockbuster (Mark Desmond, age 49), Bronze Tiger (Ben Turner, age 35), Captain Boomerang (George “Digger” Harkness, age 46), Deadshot (Floyd Lawton, age 34) and Enchantress (June Moone, age 38). Blockbuster was killed on the team’s first assignment.

Garrison Slate (age 46), the founder of S.T.A.R. Labs, left Palo Alto, California to over day-to-day operations of the Chicago branch.

In San Francisco, high school teacher Jose Delgado (b. 1963) became a mentor to Jerry White (b. 1973), son of San Francisco Examiner editor Perry White, Jr. (b. 1941).

Because of his terminal cancer, Prof. Martin Stein took an indefinite leave of absence from the University of Pittsburgh at the end of the school year.

Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers were lured out of retirement by the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI). In exchange for Austin’s help, the OSI fitted his son Michael (age 25), an Air Force pilot who had recently been injured in a plane crash, with bionics of his own. They then tried to recruit Michael into the OSI, but he refused.

The Justice League is reformed as “Justice League International.” Initial members include: Batman (Bruce Thomas Wayne, age 41), Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance, age 34), Blue Beetle (Ted Kord, age 40), Captain Marvel (Billy Batson, age 37), Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi, age 27), Green Lantern (Guy Gardner, age 45), Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz, age 95 in Earth years, or age 50 in Martian ords) and Mister Miracle (Scott Free, age 337 in Earth years).

June 1987

A six-man team led by Delta Force Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer were tasked by the CIA with rescuing a U.S. official held hostage by insurgents in the jungles of eastern Colombia. When they arrived, however, they were ambushed by an alien hunter. After the rest of his team was slaughtered, Dutch managed to defeat the creature, which then destroyed itself using a self-destruct incendiary device. [Predator]

British secret agent James Bond acted as a counter-sniper to protect a Soviet defector Georgi Koskov. Koskov told Bond that General Pushkin, head of the KGB, was systematically killing British and American agents. When Koskov was seemingly snatched back, Bond followed him across Europe, Morocco and Afghanistan.

Moon Knight joined the West Coast Avengers, and in a supporting role science consultant Dr. Henry Pym (age 53) became a full-time member of the team.

On June 12, in a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, U.S. President Ronald Reagan issued a challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to “Tear down this wall!” Destruction of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of communist oppression, would serve as an emblem of Gorbachev’s commitment to increased freedom throughout the Eastern Bloc. Although the speech was controversial at the time, it was a sign of the growing dialogue between the West and the Soviets, and reflected the groundswell of popular support for openness.

July 1987

Believing Nancy Callahan (age 19) to again be in danger from Roark Junior (age 26), John Hartigan (now 60 years old) had his lawyers work out an agreement that would allow for his early release from prison. He then rescued Callahan and killed Roark Junior, before turning the gun on himself. [Sin City: That Yellow Bastard]

In Detroit, the RoboCop unit regained his memory of his previous life as Alex J. Murphy. He then managed to defeat the ED-209 robot and kill Dick Jones, the corrupt senior vice president of OCP. [RoboCop]

Sondra Fuller (b. 1960), a member of Strikeforce Kobra, was given shape-changing abilities by Kobra technology. She then became “Lady Clay.” (She was also sometimes referred to as “Clayface,” the fourth person to use that name.)

The Fantastic Four disbanded. With his adventuring days behind him, Reed Richards would found the “Future Foundation” to further his scientific aims.

Teenage brothers Michael and Sam Emerson fought a pack of vampires soon after relocating with their mother from Arizona to Santa Cruz, California. [The Lost Boys]

Inza Nelson (age 72), widow of Kent Nelson, the former Doctor Fate, heard the voice of Nabu. Following the instructions given to her, she met Linda Strauss (b. 1957) and her stepson Eric (b. 1972) in Central Park, New York City, and used the power of Nabu to bring them to the Tower of Fate in Salem, Massachusetts. There, the spirit of Nabu washed over Linda and Eric, imbuing them with mystic power. When Dr. Fate was needed, they could now merge into one being and become the new Doctor Fate. Inza gave them the Helmet of Fate, Amulet of Anubis and Cloak of Levitation that had belonged to her husband. That night, Inza passed away peacefully in her sleep. Linda and Eric would soon contact the Justice League of America and, as Doctor Fate, become its newest member.

On July 20, the Soviet Union announced it would begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

August 1987

Oliver Queen (Green Arrow, age 45) and Dinah Lance (Black Canary, age 34) relocated to Seattle, where Oliver became a gritty vigilante who pushed the line and wasn’t afraid to use deadly force.

Just prior to her 21st birthday, Janice Rosa Bertinelli learned more details about her family’s murder, which happened in front of her eyes when she was eight years old. She then became a costumed vigilante, modeling herself after the recently deceased Huntress, in order to confront the men who killed her family.

Johnny Storm (age 42) and Alicia Masters Grimm (age 48) were married in New York City.

On August 1, WBA and WBC champion Mike Tyson took the IBF title from Tony Tucker, becoming the first undisputed heavyweight boxing champion since Rocky Balboa.

September 1987

Peter Parker (Spider-Man, age 40) and Mary Jane Watson (age 39) were married in New York City.

Goldstar (Michelle Carter from the alternate, parallel universe of Earth-Penta) was killed battling a creature from another dimension.

October 1987

Firestorm fought with Russian superhero Pozhar (Mikhail Arkadin) in the Nevada desert, resulting in a nuclear explosion that fused Arkadin into the Firestorm Matrix along with Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein. Stein’s cancer-ridden body was lost and destroyed in the process, and only his disembodied mind remained. At first, Stein found himself in control of Firestorm’s body, but the trauma had left him with amnesia.

November 1987

Kraven the Hunter (Sergei Kravinoff, age 52) finally caught Spider-Man, the ultimate prey. He then released him and killed himself.

Dr. Leonard Samson (a.k.a. Doc Samson, age 47) assisted X-Factor in re-capturing the Hulk on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D., but they again freed the creature when they learned that S.H.I.E.L.D. intended to kill him.

The Punisher (Frank Castle, age 40) began working with technology expert David Linus “Microchip” Lieberman (b. 1948).

After the funeral of Hector Hall, Northwind (Norda Cantrell, age 23) quit Infinity Inc. are returned to the Bird People of New Feithera in northern Greenland.

When teens in his community were enlisted by organized crime under the control of Lex Luthor, high school teacher Jose Delgado debuted as the masked crime fighter Gangbuster.

Rocket Red #7 (Vladimir Mikogan) was assigned to assist the Justice League International.

December 1987

What would become known as the “Armor Wars” began as Tony Stark (age 48) began pursuing those who had stolen his “Iron Man” armored battle suit technology, a move that would ultimately lead to controversial decisions at put him at odds with the U.S. government and many of his allies.

Thanks to the testimony of stockbroker Bud Fox, legendary Wall Street player Gordon Gecko (b. 1944) was convicted of insider trading. [Wall Street]

On December 8, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the first nuclear arms reduction treaty. It would be ratified by the United States Senate on May 27, 1988 and would go into force on June 1 of that year.

On Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, New York City Police Detective Lieutenant John McClane traveled to Los Angeles to try to reconcile with his estranged wife, Holly. While there, terrorists led by Hans Gruber took over the building where Holly’s company was headquartered. Working from the inside, McClane was able to take down the terrorists and save the hostages. [Die Hard]

1988

Surgeon General C. Everett Koop took the unprecedented step of mailing AIDS information to every U.S. household.

A fourth boxing championship awarding organization, the WBO, was founded. Although Mike Tyson was still almost universally acknowledged as the dominant fighter in his class, the WBO sanctioned Union Cane as its first heavyweight title holder.

Kevin Flynn, CEO of ENCOM, discovered that the virtual-reality world of “The Grid” had given life to a new form of program, which he dubbed “Isomorphic Algorithms.” Flynn believed that the existence of ISOs could lead to fundamental breakthroughs in science. One of the ISOs, a female personality named Quorra, would become Flynn’s apprentice.

While trying to assist the Punisher (Frank Castle, age 41) with a hostage exchange, Louis Frohike (b. 1970, the son of Castle’s partner David “Microchip” Lieberman) was apparently killed. In fact, Frohike survived, but cut off contact with his estranged father and his “psycho” partner, allowing them to think he was dead.

At age nine, Bernhard “Buddy” Baker, Jr. (b. May 6, 1979) began having dreams about alternate realities in which his father, Buddy Baker, Sr. (a.k.a. Animal Man), had survived the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Although he did not realize it at the time, these dreams were caused by his spirit awakening to the metaphysical Morphogenetic Field that his father had drawn his powers from, and where his father’s spirit now resided as an avatar of “The Red.”

Louis de Pointe du Lac returned to New Orleans where he found fellow vampire Leastatde Lioncourt. Leastatde wanted Louis to stay with him again, but Louis rejected his offer. [Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles]

John Rambo fought alongside the Mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets. [Rambo III]

January 1988

X-Factor was transported to the Ship of the villain Apocalypse, where they were offered a place by his side in his evolutionary war against humans. They refused and began to battle his Four Horsemen. The horseman “Death” then revealed himself to be their former teammate Angel (Warren Worthington III), previously thought to be dead, but actually remade by Apocalypse with razor-sharp, techno-organic wings. He quickly defeated and restrained the team, save for Caliban, who surrendered himself to Apocalypse in return for powers like his Horsemen. Apocalypse then sent his Horsemen to attack New York City. However, X-Factor was able to escape and free Angel from Apocalypse’s mind control. With him back on their side, they disabled Apocalypse’s ship and defeated his remaining Horsemen. [X-Factor #24–26]

Several members of the X-Men traveled to Dallas, Texas in search of their missing leader Storm (Ororo Munroe, age 36). Storm, meanwhile, had recently gained her mutant weather-control powers back thanks to a machine built by Forge (age 39) that counteracted the effects of the “nullifier” that had removed her powers in 1984.

After Rocket Red #7 (Vladimir Mikogan) was discovered to be a sleeper agent loyal to the alien Manhunter androids, he was replaced in the Justice League by Rocket Red #4 (Dmitri Pushkin).

February 1988

Because of federal regulations limiting media cross-ownership, Rupert Murdoch was forced to sell the New York Post newspaper to Peter S. Kalikow, a real-estate magnate with no news experience. Long-time editor J. Jonah Jameson, Jr. (age 68) quit the Post in protest, and Joseph “Robbie” Robertson (age 61) became the new editor in chief.

While in Dallas, the X-Men encountered “Freedom Force,” a government-sanctioned strike team of reformed villains led by Mystique, who were under orders to arrest the X-Men for refusing to comply with the Mutant Registration Act. The two groups fought, but Freedom Force’s precognitive mutant Destiny stopped the fighting when she had a vision that the government intended to betray them all. They put aside their differences to deal with the coming threat. Soon, a powerful mutant named the Adversary cornered them in an abandoned building. The Adversary was able to create illusions of perils like dinosaurs and demons, which only his victims could see, but which were deadly to those that could see them. However, having been warned by Destiny’s vision, the mutants knew that the Adversary would trap them in that building and had prepared for it. Forge cast a spell to teleport them far away just as they brought the building collapsing on top of the Adversary, killing him. The events were broadcast on live television, which reported that the X-Men had been killed. [Note: this is not exactly how “The Fall of the Mutants” actually happened, but it’s a much better explanation than them actually dying and being instantly resurrected. Honestly, making teh Adversary a master of illusion just works better all around.]

Gangbuster (Jose Delgado, age 24) suffered a spinal injury while fighting a creation of Lex Luthor's called “Combattor.” He would receive an experimental implant from Lexcorp that allowed him to use his legs again, but it would also later allow Lex Luthor to take control of him.
The villain Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) made his debut in Boston.

March 1988

The villain KGBeast (Anatoli Knyazev) made his debut in Boston.

In New York City, Spider-Man located the serial killer known as the “Sin-Eater,” and police fired on him, killing him. Earlier that day, New York Post reporter Eddie Brock (b. 1965) had run a story identifying Emil Gregg as the killer, but when they unmasked him, it turned out to be a man named Stanley Carter. This left Brock disgraced; he was fired from his job and his wife left him. Irrationally, he blamed his failure on Spider-Man.

On Tuesday, March 29, Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl, age 27) was shot by the Joker and lost the use of her legs. The Joker then kidnapped her great uncle, former police commissioner James Gordon, Sr. (age 88) and led Batman (Bruce Thomas Wayne, age 42) on a wild chase to find him. Batman was ultimately able to apprehend the Joker and turn him over to Boston police.

April 1988

Iron Man (Tony Stark) was expelled from the West Coast Avengers for his actions during the “Armor Wars.”

May 1988

The alien “Venom” symbiote merged with reporter Eddie Brock and began its quest to destroy Spider-Man.

In New York City, architect Eric Masterson was gravely injured by the villain Mongoose on a construction site, but his life was saved by Thor. [Thor #391]

While on assignment on Earth, Katma Tui of Korugar, the Green Lantern of Sector 1417 and wife of John Stewart (age 42), was killed by the villain Star Sapphire.

Lionel Luthor learned that the Kryptonite ring that he wore to protect him from Superman had caused radiation damage to his right hand. [Action Comics #600]

June 1988

July 1988

Lionel Luthor’s radiation-damaged right hand was amputated and replaced by a prosthetic. However, by this point the cancer had metastasized and he was terminally ill. He immediately began having his top scientists work on a solution.

In the wake of its success with its first RoboCop unit, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) made several additional attempts to implement the technology. A year later, however, each of them had failed, either because the test subjects died during the operation, or because they were unable to accept the reality of their new mechanical bodies and subsequently committed suicide. OCP Chairman Dr. Michael Martin then brought in psychologist Dr. Juliette Faxx to determine what would make a successful candidate. She concluded that Alex J. Murphy’s strong sense of duty and morality were the keys to his success, but were also too difficult to account for or control. However, she theorized that a certain criminal profile could be easily molded into willing servants due to their natural greed and strong sense of self-preservation. Dr. Martin used his covert connections to help her obtain access to criminals to put through initial trials for the “RoboCop 2” program. [RoboCop 2]

August 1988

In Los Angeles, finding themselves unwilling to continue after the death of Skyman (Sylvester Pemberton, Jr.), the remaining members of Infinity Inc. decided to dissolve the team.

September 1988

Cain, a drug dealer responsible for a new designer form of crack cocaine in Detroit called “Nuke” overwhelmed and destroyed RoboCop. His core biological function remained alive, but his technological components were disassembled and scattered in front of the Detroit police headquarters. [RoboCop 2]

After a long hiatus away from being a superhero, Buddy Baker (age 42) began to once again having adventures as Animal Man. This time, however, his career was complicated by having a wife, Ellen (age 41), and two kids, Cliff (age 9) and Maxine (age 5).

On Wednesday, September 14, after another failed attempt to get Dream of the Endless to talk to him, Alex Burgess, now confined to a wheelchair, was taken back to his room, but not before one of the wheels on his chair scuffed the binding circle, breaking the enchantmant that prevented Dream from entering the minds of mortals. One of his guards fell asleep on duty, allowing him to tap into the power of dreams and make his escape from his crystal prison after more than 72 years of imprisonment.

On Thursday, September 29, the Space Shuttle Discovery became the first to launch since the Challenger disaster nearly three years prior.

October 1988

Due to the overload of having both her own memories and those of her psychic “twin” Jean Grey, Madelyne Summers (Marvel Girl, age 28) found her mind overloaded, and she went into a catatonic state for several months. While in that condition, she had horrific visions, while simultaneously discovering some repressed memories amount being a clone created by Mister Sinister. [This is my explanation for the Inferno crossover: it happened, but only in Madelyne's mind. And Jean Grey stays dead.]

Mockingbird (Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, age 43), who had become increasingly violent in dealing with criminals, quit the West Coast Avengers after a heated disagreement with her husband, team leader Hawkeye, about whether or not lethal force was warranted. She was joined by Tigra (Greer Grant Nelson, age 36) and Moon Knight, who also quit the team at this time. The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff, age 41) and the android known as Vision joined the team in their places. [Note that this ignores the whole time-travel rape sub-plot.]

November 1988

After weeks of repair, RoboCop again returned to active duty on the Detroit police force. However, he soon discovered that he had been reprogrammed with over 300 new directives, which were causing conflicts in his operating system. Murphy connected to a high voltage transformer, rebooting his system, erasing all of his directives and restoring his original programming. He then tracked down Cain, the drug dealer that had ambushed him, and arrested him, badly injuring him in the process. [RoboCop 2]

December 1988

OCP psychologist Dr. Juliette Faxx selected the recently captured drug kingpin Cain as a subject for the RoboCop 2 program, believing that his Nuke addiction would make him even easier to control. Cain would become the first successful RoboCop transformation since Alex J. Murphy. [RoboCop 2]

Bruce T. Wayne (Batman, age 42) and Jason Todd (Robin, age 17) were reunited with Jason’s estranged mother, Dr. Sheila Haywood (age 48), in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, where she was a doctor for a relief aid organization. There, they were ambushed by the Joker, who killed Jason and Sheila in an explosion. Bruce buried them in Ethiopia and then followed the Joker’s trail back to Boston. [Batman #427–428]

However, Batman and Robin had been followed to Ethiopia by agents of Talia al Ghul, who considered herself Batman’s wife. She had them bring Robin’s body to her so that she could resurrect it in one of her father’s Lazarus Pits. When the corpse proved to be too extensively damaged for this, she instead decided to use his body as the test subject for an experimental “slow resurrection” process that involved cloning him and then transferring his memories via a complicated merger with his preserved corpse in the Lazarus Pit.

After more than five years of retirement, Shang-Chi (age 37) felt a sense of duty calling him and returned to a life of adventuring, using his mastery of Kung Fu to fight for justice around the world.

Deadshot (Floyd Lawton) had his five-year-old son Edward kidnapped, and believed the child to be killed. However, Eddie survived and would one day take his father’s place as Deadshot. [A revisionist interpretation of Deadshot #3]

On December 21, Pan Am flight 103 was destroyed by a bomb planted by Libyan terrorists, killing all 259 on board, as well as 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland.

1989

January 1989

Tommy “Tommy Gun” Morrison defeated Union Cane for the WBO heavyweight boxing title and James “Buster” Douglas defeated Mike Tyson for the other three belts. (Shortly after Morrison’s victory, he was challenged to a street fight by former heavyweight champ Rocky Balboa, which he lost.) There were talks of uniting the four titles into an undisputed championship eventually fell through. Both champions would lose their titles within a year, and there would be no undisputed champion again until Mason “The Line” Dixon in 2005. After Morrison handily defeated Union Cane to become the WBO heavyweight boxing champion, while James “Buster” Douglas defeated Mike Tyson for the other three belts.

Several of Earth’s heroes united to help retrieve the four pieces of the Anti-Life Equation before they destroyed the universe. However, due to a blunder on the part of Green Lantern John Stewart, the team sent to retrieve one of the pieces accidentally allowed the planet Xanshi to explode. This incident would haunt Stewart for the rest of his life. [Cosmic Odyssey]

The now wheelchair-bound Barbara Gordon (age 28) reinvented herself as a new kind of crime fighter and started going by the alias “Oracle.”

Dee Tyler debuted as the second crime fighter to use the name “Phantom Lady.” She had been trained by the first, Sandra Knight (who was now age 72).

On January 20, George H.W. Bush (b. 1924) became the 41st U.S. President (1989-1993).

February 1989

World leaders were alerted that several species of aliens had banded together to demand the immediate surrender of planet Earth. Sending Superman to negotiate, he returned with a notice that one Earth day would be given to hand over all of Earth’s metahumans to avoid casualties. The world leaders instead authorized Superman to resist. Against fierce odds, and with some help from unexpected allies, the heroes of Earth prevailed and turned back the invasion forces. [Invasion!]

During the invasion attempt, several aliens had come to Earth’s aid, and in the wake of the incident, a group of them decided to form an interstellar monitoring force called “The Legion.” Led by Vril Dox of Colu, a.k.a. “Brainiac 2,” their goal was to act as emissaries of peace, policing our local region of the Milky Way galaxy to ensure that the rights of planet natives were not violated, and uniting disparate species for the common defense.

On February 15, the last Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan after a costly nine-year war and occupation.

March 1989

Imprisoned within the Central Power Battery on Oa, the entity known as Parallax, universal embodiment of the emotional energy of fear, had awakened, weak and hungry. Using the intrinsic connection of the Central Power Battery to every Green Lantern power ring, Parallax had begun reaching out, searching for fear that it could prey upon. It finally detected fear in Hal Jordan (age 53), Green Lantern of Sector 2814, and it began to influence him, increasing his self-doubt and fear, and eventually even causing his hair to turn white at the temples.

The spirit of Brunnhilde the Valkyrie became hosted by the mortal woman Sian Brown.

On March 24, the Exxon Valdez tanker ship struck a reef near Prince William Sound, Alaska. Over the next few days, 10 million gallons of oil spilled out, covering 1,300 mi (2,100 km) of coastline and 11,000 sq mi (28,000 sq km) of ocean. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters.

April 1989

Suffering from a severe illness that was not responding to medication, Roland Desmond (age 43) turned in desperation to the mysterious green substance that had transformed his late brother Mark into the monstrous brute “Blockbuster.” Although his illness responded well to small doses, he eventually overdosed and himself became a super-strong, but child-minded monster, the second “Blockbuster.”

After learning more about her predecessor, the first Huntress, Janice Rosa Bertinelli (age 23) began using Helena as her first name instead of Janice.

Rick Flag, Jr. (age 52) was killed in action while on a mission with the Suicide Squad.

Kate Mason (b. 1964), who had been in a wheelchair since the age of six, was turned into a next-generation bionic woman by the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI).

On April 15, university students in Beijing began organizing small protests in Tiananmen Square in protest after the sudden death (from heart attack) of former Communist Party general secretary Hu Yaobang, a liberal reformer who was deposed after losing a power struggle with hardliners over the direction of political and economic reform. The protests calling for liberal reforms would continue to grow and spread to other cities over the next several weeks.

May 1989

During the unveiling ceremony for RoboCop 2, OCP Chairman Dr. Michael Martin held up a canister of what he says is Nuke as a symbol of the current crime wave plaguing Detroit. The thought of Nuke drove the new RoboCop (Cain) crazy and he began to attack the crowd until the original RoboCop (Alex J. Murphy) arrived and killed him. [RoboCop 2]

After nearly five years as partners on the vice squad in Miami, Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs and James “Sonny” Crockett both quit the force out of frustration.

Task Force Omega (“Suicide Squad”) leader Amanda Waller began to send her agents on missions in the apparent pursuit of her own private agenda, the so-called “Janus Directive,” which brought the Squad into conflict with other metahumans and government agencies. This caused mayhem among groups involving various metahumans associated with the United States military and civilian agencies. [The Janus Directive]

Separated spouses Hawkeye (Clint Barton, age 43) and Mockingbirid (Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, age 43) began attempting to reconcile after their October 1988 split. They would never divorce, but would remain on-again, off-again until Morse’s death in November 1993.

In the face of widening student protests, the Chinese government declared martial law on May 20.

June 1989

After becoming obsessed with an act of kindness performed by retiring assassin Ah Jong (b. 1955), Hong Kong police detective Li Ying (b. 1952) ended up on the trail of the criminal organization known as the Triad. After Li and Ah Jong engaged in a shootout with the Triad, Triad leader Hay Wong Hoi (b. 1955) killed Ah Jong, but was then in turn killed by Li. [The Killer]

Amanda Waller’s “Janus Directive” ended with a sting that brought down the dangerous Kobra terrorist cult organization. She revealed that she had not gone rogue, and that there was an explanation behind her actions. Nevertheless, U.S. President George Bush was irate. Whereas Task Force Omega had previously operated independently within the intelligence community, reporting only to the President, Bush now made them a division of S.H.I.E.L.D. [The Janus Directive]

which brought the Squad into conflict with other metahumans and government agencies. This caused mayhem among groups involving various metahumans associated with the United States military and civilian agencies. [The Janus Directive]

On June 4, Chinese troops massacred hundreds of protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, ending several weeks of student-led demonstrations and protests. The actions were condemned by Western nations.

July 1989

Out of curiosity, Sandra Fuller (age 29), the fourth Clayface, visited Basil Karlo (age 73), the original Clayface, in prison. Karlo proposed an alliance between all of the surviving Clayfaces to defeat Batman. This intrigued Fuller and she agreed. She began working her criminal connections to locate Preston Payne (age 44), the third Clayface. (Matt Hagen, the second, had died in 1986.)

Kevin Flynn, CEO of ENCOM, disappeared, having become trapped in the virtual-reality world of “The Grid.” He left behind his six-year-old son Sam, who was raised by his grandparents. (His mother had died four years earlier in a car accident.)

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the “Great Lakes Avengers” team was formed by four teenage mutants and a winged native of the Savage Land: Mr. Immortal (Craig Hollis, b. 1964), Flatman (Val Ventura, b. 1965), and Doorman (DeMarr Davis, b. 1967), and Big Bertha (Ashley Crawford, b. 1969) and Dinah Soar (b. 1955). [Note: I made the Great Lakes Avengers considerably younger in their first appearance, since they then sat on the shelf for so many years.]

August 1989

On Isla Nublar, an islet located off Central America’s Pacific Coast, near Costa Rica, eccentric billionaire John Hammond initiated construction of the compound that would soon become “Jurassic Park.”

After his mother, Silver St. Cloud (age 39), was killed in a car accident, her nine-year-old son Adam St. Cloud discovered a secret diary that informed him that his father was Boston billionaire Bruce T. Wayne (age 43). It furthermore gave him enough clues that he was able to figure out that Wayne had been Batman. Adam confronted his father and urged him to train him as an apprentice. Wayne welcomed his son into his home, but was reluctant to allow him to become a crime fighter, having just recently lost Jason Todd. However, his former sidekick Dick Grayson, Jr. (Nightwing, age 26) argued that he saw potential in Adam, and Wayne relented. Adam became the new Robin.

Sandra Fuller (Clayface IV) visited Basil Karlo (the original Clayface) in prison again, and slipped him an experimental serum that Preston Payne (Clayface III) had developed from the tissues of himself, Fuller and Matt Hagen (Clayface II, now deceased). Karlo injected himself with the serum and hours later had undergone a remarkable transformation into what he called “the ultimate Clayface.” Karlo was then easily able to escape from the prison and rendezvous with the other two. As Karlo got used to his new powers, they began plotting their revenge on Batman.

Eager to return their peoples to glory, Deviant leader Ghaur and Lemurian queen Llyra (age 58) formed an alliance to divide the Earth between them: air-filled realms to the Deviants and water-filled ones to the Lemurians. They started work to forge a new Serpent Crown with which to conquer the human world. However, their plans were thwarted by Namor the Sub-Mariner (age 69), Aquaman (Arthur Curry, age 48) and dozens of heroes from the surface world. [Atlantis Attacks]

After a falling out, Hawkwoman and Hawkman (Shayera Thal and Katar Hol, both age 89 in Earth years or 42 Thanagarian orbit cycles) split up. Shayera decided to retire from being Hawkwoman and returned to their home planet of Thanagar, leaving behind her Nth metal weaponry. Soon afterward, Katar experienced a psychic backlash from the Nth metal and was driven insane for a period. When he recovered, he could no longer remember his past or that he was an alien, and belived his true name to be Carter Hall. No longer in possession of the Nth metal weaponry of Hawkman, he began a life of wandering.

On August 25, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest flyby of Neptune, the last of the major planets in the Solar System to be visited by spacecraft from Earth.

September 1989

Calling themselves the “Mudpack,” the three Clayfaces (Basil Karlo, Preston Payne and Sandra Fuller) attacked their mutual enemy Batman, but were defeated. During the planning of the attack, Payne and Fuller had fallen in love, and afterward they would abandon their plan for revenge in order to settle down together. Karlo, however, was incensed at spending the majority of his life in prison and swore to use his new powers to make Batman pay.

Under the watchful eye of Talia al Ghul, a clone of Jason Todd was successfully brought to term by a League of Assassins surrogate mother. At birth, the child was given the memories of the previous Jason Todd by the restorative powers of the Lazarus Pit, but those memories were kept locked away until adolescence. In a semi-catatonic state, he would be raised in the isolation of the League, practicing its arts to turn his body into a living weapon.

October 1989

Quasar (Wendell Vaughn, age 37) learned from Eon of the full nature of the Quantum Bands and his role as “Protector of the Universe.”

Following several years of growing increasingly distant, Mera left her husband Aquaman (Arthur Curry). She departed Earth’s dimension to return to her original home in the pocket dimension of Xebel. However, on the way she was captured by Thanatos, an old enemy of her husband’s, and trapped in a prison dimension.

After his friend Eric Masterson was injured, Thor pleaded with his father Odin to save the mortal’s life. Odin then merged Thor and Masterson. [Thor #408]

November 1989

Richard Rider (age 29) regained his Nova powers and co-founded “The New Warriors,” a new superhero team that also featured Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor), Marvel Boy (Vance Astrovik), Namorita, Firestar (Angelica Jones) and Speedball (Robbie Baldwin).

Former child prodigy Lonnie Machin (b. 1968) debuted in Boston as the costumed revolutionary “Anarky.”

In Detroit, Britt Reid, the original Green Hornet, was killed at the age of 77. Paul Reid (b. 1967) became the fourth Green Hornet. Mishi Kato (b. 1969), Ikano’s daughter and Hayashi’s half-sister, became the new Kato.

A baby girl was born prematurely to Betty Ross Banner (age 48), the estranged wife of Dr. Robert Bruce Banner (the Hulk, age 53). Told that the baby was stillborn, a grieving Betty took refuge in a convent. In reality, the child had been rescued by Thundra, a Femizonian warrior from the alternate, parallel Earth-F universe. There, the girl was restored to health and raised as Lyra.

On November 9, amid growing public unrest, East Germany finally opened the Berlin Wall. By the end of the year, official operations to dismantle the wall had begun.

December 1989

Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, age 42) learned that her three-year-old, magically-conceived sons Tommy and Billy were not real children, but actually part of the demon of Mephisto who was using them to tap into Wanda’s reality-distorting energy. They were absorbed back into Mephisto, and Wanda’s associate Agatha Harkness erased her memories of her children.

Eric Strauss (age 17) was killed and his stepmother Linda Strauss (age 32) was left to be Doctor Fate on her own.

Loki, the Asgardian god of mischief, organized a group of supervillains to plan an attack against the Avengers and other heroes of New York City. [Acts of Vengeance]

On Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24, New York police detective John McClane (age 34) helped defuse a terrorist situation at Washington Dulles International Airport. [Die Hard 2]


The Extreme Nineties / Alternative Era

1990

Upon the death of S’byll, Veranke became Empress of the Skrulls by lineage. Veranke began an aggressive campaign to infltrate the Shi’ar Empire with spies, believing that they posed a risk. She also began sending spies to infiltrate Earth, believing that the Skrulls had an ancient claim to the planet. A number of the Earth-bound spies were enhanced through the “Super Skrull” program, using the knowledge of superhumans gained from having studied the Illuminati following the Kree-Skrull War.

January 1990

Dr. Reed Richards (a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic, age 63, but biologically age 49) and other super-powered members of the Future Foundation testified before a U.S. Congressional subcommittee, arguing against the need for a Superhuman Registration Act. [Fantastic Four #335–336]

The villains organized by Loki executed their attack against New York, but were easily defeated, in part due to in-fighting. [Acts of Vengeance]

There was a major outbreak of attacks from graboids (a subterranean species of giant sandworms) in Nye County, Nevada [Tremors]

February 1990

Loki tried one more attack on New York City, unleashing a giant robot to destroy the city when only Spider-Man is left to stop it. However, having suspected that Loki might try something else, the heroes had asked Superman to stand by, and he quickly put an end to the threat. [Acts of Vengeance]

The New Mutants first met Cable (age 44), a mutant from the alternate future, parallel universe of Earth-Askani. [New Mutants #87]

Thanos was restored and began again his quest to collect the Infinity Gems. [Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #34 and The Thanos Quest]

In his opening address to parliament on February 2, South African President F.W. de Klerk announced that he would repeal Apartheid in that country. On February 11, political activist Nelson Mandela was released after more than 27 years in prison.

March 1990

The Eternal known as Kronos created a second, more powerful artificial body and reanimated Drax the Destroyer with the brainwave patterns of Arthur Douglas.

In the early morning hours of March 18, the largest art theft in modern history took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. As the city was preoccupied with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police officers gained entry to museum and stole thirteen works of art estimated at a total value of $500 million dollars.

April 1990

In New York, Jewel (Jessica Jones) intervened in a disturbance at a restaurant between Daredevil (Matt Murdock) and the Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave). Killgrave used his power of mind control to place Jones under his command, psychologically torturing her and forcing her to aid his criminal schemes.

May 1990

While working on a synthetic skin project in Los Angeles, scientist Dr. Peyton Westlake was left for dead when mobster Robert G. Durant burned his lab down after stealing a document for corrupt real estate developer Louis Stack. Westlake survived, but was greatly disfigured. During experimental rehabilitation, he gained increased strength and immunity to pain, but also emotional instability.

LexCorp conducted its first manned spacecraft test, a low-orbit flight of the shuttle Excalibur, designed in conjunction with Omni Consumer Products (OCP). The shuttle experienced a radiation flare during its flight that forced a crash-landing. The physical bodies of two of the four crew members were destroyed upon impact, but they did not die. Instead, they consciousness survived as beings of energy and they reconstructed new mechanical bodies out of the shuttle wreckage. However, they had trouble adapting to their new lives and soon committed suicide. The remaining two crew members, married couple Hank and Terri Henshaw, appeared completely uninjured at first. However, within a few days, Hank’s body started to disintegrate from the radiation, while Terri started to phase ghost-like in and out of our dimension. Hank soon appeared to die, although his consciousness had actually lived on and entered the LexCorp mainframe computer. Meanwhile, Superman was able to get Terri the help she needed to stabilize her. [The Adventures of Superman #466]

Danny Ketch (b. 1963) debuted as the new Ghost Rider.

At the age of 57, Nick Carter, “The Killmaster,” retired from being a secret agent.

June 1990

While on vacation with his family in London, Jack Ryan (age 40), now retired from the CIA and a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, spoiled an assassination attempt on a member of the Royal Family. He soon found himself drawn back into the CIA when the same splinter faction of the IRA targeted him and his family. [Patriot Games]

A disembodied Hank Henshaw spent time in the LexCorp computer network absorbing information, including Lex Luthor’s own, encrypted files. Because Luthor bore such a hatred for Superman, much of the information was slanted against him, and Henshaw began to develop a deep distrust for the Man of Steel, and he suspected that the help Superman had offered his wife had carried ulterior motives. Henshaw took control of the LexCorp automation robots and worked to build himself a robot body.

Cable, became the new teacher and leader of the New Mutants, outfitting them as soldiers in his war against Stryfe[New Mutants #90]

Trapped by Thanatos in a prison dimension, Mera gave birth to Aquaman’s second son, whom she named Orin.

Abandoning his plans to build “Delta City,” Dr. Michael Martin sold Omni Consumer Products (OCP) to the Kanemitsu Corporation, based in Japan. [That’s right: there is no RoboCop 3.]

July 1990

In his new robot body, Hank Henshaw confronted Superman at the hospital where his wife was still being treated. Unfortunately, his appearance so frightened his wife that she backed away from him and fell out of a window to her death. Henshaw flew into space to deal with his grief. Over time, he would become convinced that her death was Superman’s fault and would vow revenge. [The Adventures of Superman #468]

Crime lord Wilson Fisk (age 65) was assassinated in New York City, and his son Richard Fisk (age 40) inherited his criminal empire and became the new “Kingpin of Crime.”

August 1990

Having recovered from his injuries, Dr. Peyton Westlake used his synthetic skin to conceal his disfigured face, adopting a wide variety of disguises. Calling himself “Darkman,” he halted the schemes of mobster Robert G. Durant and corrupt real estate developer Louis Stack. (Stack was killed and Durant was believed killed, but actually survived a helicopter crash in a coma.) Westlake continued to fight crime over the next few years, while seeking to perfect his synthetic skin, which decomposed after 99 minutes when exposed to light.

In Detroit, Mishi Kato (age 21) returned to Japan, and Hayashi Kato (age 42) became the Green Hornet’s partner again.

Martin Stein took sole possession of the Firestorm Matrix from Ronnie Raymond and Mikhail Arkadin, then traveled into space.

Remy LeBeau, a charismatic young mutant (Homo sapiens superior) and thief from New Orleans, debuted using the alias “Gambit.” [Uncanny X-Men #266]

The Gulf War (1990-1991) began on August 2 when Iraq launched an invasion of Kuwait. It claimed that its neighbor to the south was rightfully an Iraqi territory already, and that its unfair trade policies amounted to an “economic war” against Iraq. Within 12 hours, Iraq controlled most of the country and after two days of fighting, Iraq had decisively captured Kuwait. On August 7, the U.S. launched a mission called  “Operation Desert Shield” to provide defensive support to prevent Iraq from invading neighboring Saudi Arabia.

On August 23, the Parliament of East Germany passed a resolution seeking the accession of the German Democratic Republic (“East Germany”) to the Federal Republic of Germany (“West Germany”).

September 1990

A son, Cassius “Clay” Payne, was born to Sandra Fuller (age 30) and Preston Payne (age 45). The boy would soon exhibit shape-changing powers like his parents, and would eventually become the fifth “Clayface.”

October 1990

Thanos completed his quest of again acquiring all six Infinity Gems. [The Thanos Quest]

At midnight local time on October 3, the German Democratic Republic (“East Germany”) and the Federal Republic of Germany (“West Germany”) were unified into a single nation. The united Germany was considered to be the enlarged continuation of the Federal Republic rather than a successor state, and thus retained all of West Germany’s memberships in international organizations including the European Community (later the European Union) and NATO, while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact and other international organizations to which only East Germany belonged.

November 1990

A group of Genoshan soldiers attacked the X-Mansion and abducted Storm (Ororo Munroe, age 39) and several of the New Mutants. They were taken to the disputed island territory of Genosha, off the coast of Madagascar, where they were brainwashed and turned into slaves. They were soon rescued by the X-Men and remaining New Mutants, who ended the mutant slave trade in Genosha and helped rebuild the island nation. [X-Tinction Agenda]

December 1990

After being under the mental control of the villain Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave) for eight months, Jewel (Jessica Jones) began to lose the distinction between his will and her own, developing a kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

Having already updated all of his legal documents to name his son (who didn’t exist) as his heir, Lionel Luthor had his brain transplanted into a much younger clone of his own body, so that he could claimed to be that son, “Alexander Luthor.”

1991

Construction began on Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel Project, unofficially known as the “Big Dig,” the most expensive highway project in U.S. history. Originally scheduled to be completed in 1998, the project would extend to the end of 2007 and face cost overruns of 190%.

In Miami, Dexter Morgan (age 20) killed his first human being: a nurse who had been murdering patients. [Dexter]

January 1991

Doctor Fate (Linda Strauss) was killed, and the magical artifacts of Nabu were lost.

Dr. Leonard Samson (a.k.a. Doc Samson, age 50) attempted to cure the Hulk (Dr. Bruce Banner, age 54) of multiple personality disorder, integrating Banner, Gray Hulk and Green Hulk into a single, unified personality. This union proved unstable, though, resulting in a new fourth personality.

A military coalition led by the U.S. began its “Operation Desert Storm” offensive to retake Kuwait from Iraq with an extensive aerial bombing campaign on January 17.

February 1991

In a rage, Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave, age 60) sent Jewel (Jessica Jones, age 23) to kill Daredevil (Matt Murdock, age 52), but accidentally sent her to Avengers Mansion. There, in the fog of Purple Man’s mind control, Jewel attacked the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff, age 44), believing her to be Daredevil. In retaliation, she was then attacked by Vision and Iron Man (Tony Stark, age 51). She spent several weeks under the watch of S.H.I.E.L.D., recovering from her injuries. At this time, she was also given new mental safeguards to help prevent Purple Man or anyone else from controlling her mind again.

The mercenary Deadpool (Wade Wilson) attacked Cable and the New Mutants. At the end of this encounter, they believed Deadpool had been killed, not knowing about his healing ability. [New Mutants #98]

The two factions of the Transformers, Autobots and Decepticons, united to face their ancient nemesis, Unicron. [Transformers #75]

The Coalition ground campaign in Iraq began on February 24 and quickly overran Iraqi positions. Kuwait was freed on February 27 when Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered a full retreat. As the Iraqis left, however, they set fire to approximately 700 oil wells, and placed land mines around the wells to make extinguishing the fires more difficult. Coalition forces pursued Iraqi troops to within 150 miles of Baghdad before retreting back to Iraq’s borders, and on February 28, U.S. President George Bush declared a cease fire, bringing the Gulf War to an end.

March 1991

An explosion inside Challenger Mountain in Colorado left Prof Haley and June Robbins missing and presumed dead. Ace Morgan, Red Ryan and Rocky Davis eventually discovered that they may still be alive in a separate dimension, but with no way of returning.

April 1991

In Sacramento, an ex-con named Marv woke up next to a dead prostitute named Goldie. He was eventually coerced into signing a confession saying he had murdered several prostitutes, as well as others. [Sin City: The Hard Goodbye]

Having recovered from her wounds, Jessica Jones retired from being the costumed superhero known as Jewel and took a desk job with S.H.I.E.L.D.

The first dozen Skrull sleeper agents infiltrated Earth in order to scout ahead for a possible invasion. People in key positions were killed and replaced by shape-shifting Skrull spies. One of the people killed was Alicia Masters (age 51), the wife of Johnny Storm (The Human Torch, age 45). As a blind woman, she was seen as not being suspicious, and yet she had access to the records of Reed Richards, seen by the Skrulls as one of the most strategically important humans on the planet. In her place, they put a Skrull spy named Lyja. However, Lyja soon began to have genuine feelings for Alicia’s husband Johnny and her 13-year-old son Daniel, and she began to question the Skrull mission to conquer Earth.

Shotaro Kaneda’s son, Masato, began controlling a new, revamped version of the Tetsujin 28-go robot, now called Tetsujin 28-go FX.

May 1991

After years of trying to conceive a child, King T’Challa and Queen Monica of Wakanda finally had a daughter, whom they named Shuri.

After Thor Odinson was banished, Eric Masterson took over sole possession of Mjolnir and the powers of Thor associated with it. [Thor #432]

June 1991

Cable reorganized the New Mutants team under the name  “X-Force.”

After a final battle between the two factions of the Transformers, Autobot leader Optimus Prime ordered all of his people, plus the vanquished Decepticons, aboard the Ark spaceship, and they all returned to planet Cybertron. [Transformers #80]

July 1991

Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to “tithe” to Mistress Death by instantly killing all life, to the tiniest microbe, in the outer 10% perimeter of the universe (more than 25 billion galaxies).

The X-Men and X-Factor confronted the Shadow King on Muir Island.

On his 11th birthday, Wednesday, July 31, Harry Potter learned that he was a wizard (Homo magi). [Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone]

August 1991

In Los Angeles, nine-year-old Suzanne “Cissie” King-Jones’ father, journalist Bernell Jones, died after eating some bad shellfish. Cissie’s mother, Olympic bronze medalist Bonnie King, began coping with his death by rigorously training her daughter in archery the same way her own mother had done with her.

S.H.I.E.L.D. assigned Commander George Washington “G.W.” Bridge (b. October 27, 1950), a former associate of Cable, to investigate X-Force.

September 1991

Harry Potter began attending his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Scotland. There, he became best friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. [Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone]

Harry Osborn (age 44) relapsed into his Green Goblin personality.

In Detroit, Mishi Kato (age 22) returned as the vigilante Crimson Wasp.

October 1991

The X-Men split into two squads: a Blue Team and a Gold Team. The Blue team was led by Cylops (Scott Summers, age 44) and featured Wolverine (Logan, age 99), Beast (Hank McCoy, age 45), Psylocke (Betsy Braddock, age 36), Rogue (Anna Marie Raven, age 26) and Gambit (Remy LeBeau, age 25). The Gold Team was led by Storm (Ororo Munroe, age 40) and featured Archangel (Warren Worthington III, age 44), Iceman (Bobby Drake, age 43), Marvel Girl (Madelyne Summers, age 31) and Colossus (Piotr Rasputin, age 30).

Attacked by the mutant-hunting Sentinel robots, mutant telepath Emma Frost (age 40) placed herself in a psychic coma in order to survive. However, her students, the “Hellions,” were slaughtered by the robots.

Having recuperated from brain transplant surgery, Lionel Luthor, now in the much younger, cloned body of his “son,” Alexander Luthor, flew to Australia as part of his cover story. Meanwhile, his henchmen loaded his old body onto a plane and crashed it into the Andes.  “Alexander” was soon thrust into the spotlight as the new heir to the holdings of LexCorp.

Reformed supervillain the Puppet Master (Phillip Masters, age 74) informed his son-in-law Johnny Storm (The Human Torch, age 45) that he had figured out that his daughter Alicia, Johnny’s wife, had been replaced by an imposter. When Johnny confronted Alicia, she confessed that she was a Skrull agent named Lyja and that her people had killed the real Alicia Masters. Johnny was enraged and ready to kill her, but Lyja pleaded for mercy, saying that she had no part in Alicia’s death. Lyja swore that she had developed true feelings for Johnny and had changed allegiances since she was now carrying his baby.

Former CIA agent Benjamin Lockwood (b. 1960) debuted as the costumed vigilante “Agent Liberty.”

November 1991

Alerted that Lyja’s cover had been blown, other Skrull agents came. They killed Alicia Masters’ father, Phillip Masters, and then tried to kill her husband, Johnny Storm. However, Lyja fought back and absorbed the blast meant for Johnny. The Skrulls then took Lyja’s limp body, which Johnny believed to be dead.

Donna Troy (a.k.a. Troia, age 40) and her husband Terry Long discovered that they were expecting their first child. She retired from being a superhero for a time.

December 1991

Thanos relinquished the Infinity Gauntlet.

In Boston, Batman (Bruce T. Wayne, age 45) had a run-in with an alien hunter. [Batman vs. Predator]

The Soviet Union officially dissolved on December 25, marking an end to the Cold War.

1992

After one of President Bush’s close friends and his family were murdered in their sleep by what appeared to by drug cartels, Jack Ryan (age 42) was appointed acting CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence. Ryan was put in charge of the investigation, but unknown to him the President had already sent a secret field operative to lead an illegal paramilitary force in Colombia against cartels. Feeling that the President’s actions were illegal, Ryan brought the matter before a closed-door Congressional oversight committee. After Ryan briefed the committee, the President deliberately lost the election to hide the covert operations and protect the honor of those involved. [Clear and Present Danger]

In Miami, Dexter Morgan’s adoptive father Harry passed away from heart problems. [Dexter]

After getting in trouble with the law in Illinois, small-time scam artist James “Slipping’ Jimmy” McGill (b. 1962) moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and got a job working as a clerk in the office of his brother, lawyer Charles “Chuck” McGill. He eventually started taking correspondence classes and passed the bar exam, becoming a lawyer himself.

By the start of the year, Khan Noonan Singh and his allies secretly controlled puppet governments accounting for half of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and had started making inroads into Europe in the Balkans. Khan himself controlled all of India, much of central Asia and parts of Russia. It was at this point that some of the augments began to grow more bold and promote genocide as part of their conquests (most notably in the Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia). S.H.I.E.L.D. then discovered the already decade-old operation and began to organize a counter-offensive, calling in help from allies across the world. Over the next four years, a subtle, secret conflict dubbed the Eugenic Wars (1992-1996) would unfold.

January 1992

Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny, age 52) took one final mystery case, along with his wife Sue (age 49), and then retired from adventuring.

Daredevil (Matt Murdock, age 53) was finally able to expose the criminal activity of the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk, age 66) and put him away once and for all. He then retired from crime fighting. While Fisk would spend the rest of his life behind bars, however, his son “Richard Fisk” would eventually rebuild the criminal empire and become the new Kingpin of Crime. [Daredevil #300, plus some non-cannonical speculation due to the fact that these characters were too old to continue on.]

February 1992

The mystical city of K’un-Lun reappeared in our dimension. Following a hunch, Colleen Wing (age 39), Misty Knight (age 41) and Namor (age 71) traveled to it and discovered their friend Daniel Rand (Iron Fist) still in stasis, but now healed from his wounds. They awakened him, and he returned with them to the U.S.

Batman (Bruce T. Wayne, age 45) rescued a child kidnapped by Killer Croc (Waylon Jones, age 43) and then turned Croc over to the FBI, all the while wondering what Croc’s motivation was, since kidnapping was not his usual M.O. The FBI then realized that the ransom had been stolen by someone else during the scuffle. Using thermal-imaging, Batman spotted Catwoman (Julie Lee Kitt, age 43) and began pursuing her, but his rope was cut mid-swing and he fell hard, fracturing his shoulder and his skull. Oracle (Barbara Gordon, age 31) saved him by sending Huntress (Helena Bertinelli, age 25) to protect his unconscious body while she remote-guided the Batmobile to his location. After returning to the Batcave, Alfred Pennyworth (age 72) realized that he needed professional medical help and rushed him to the hospital, while Nightwing (Dick Grayson, Jr., age 29) recreated a car crash as a cover story for Bruce’s injuries. At the hospital, Bruce’s childhood friend, brain surgeon Dr. Thomas “Tommy” Elliot (age 45), saved his life. [Batman: Hush, modified to take place ten years earlier]

March 1992

Rick Jones (age 45) was kidnapped by Shi’ar agents intent on recovering Kree artifacts to aid them in the construction of a super weapon. In the course of rescuing Jones, Captain America discovered that a conflict had begun between the alien Kree and Shi’ar empires. Meanwhile, Quasar (Wendell Vaughn, age 40) discovered that the two warring factions were using a stargate whose proximity to our Solar System risked destabilizing our Sun. The Avengers gathered to intervene in the conflict to try to ensure the safety of our Solar System by either bringing about a truce, or by diverting the two empires from using the nearby stargate. A gathering of over 30 of Earth’s heroes were divided into three teams to deal with the threat: one team to remain on Earth and protect the planet for the duration of the conflict, while the other two are sent to the Shi’ar and Kree homeworlds via the stargate to try to negotiate with the leaders of the two empires. The “Earth team” was led by Superman and included Booster Gold, Gilgamesh, Mockingbird, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, and U.S. Agent. Quasar and Her also remained in the Solar System to guard the stargates. The “Shi’ar Team” was led by Captain Marvel and included the Living Lightning, the Scarlet Witch, Starfox, Thor, Vision, and Wonder Man. Finally, the “Kree Team” was led by Captain America and included the Black Knight, Crystal, Goliath, Hercules, Iron Man and Sersi. [Operation: Galactic Storm]

Renee Montoya (b. September 7, 1970) joined the Boston Police Department.

April 1992

In Hong Kong, police inspector “Tequila” Yuen busted up a mob gun smuggling ring. [Hard Boiled]

The Avengers delegations to the Kree and Shi’ar Empires were largely unsuccessful in engaging them in negotiations. Captain America’s team was repeatedly captured and imprisoned by the Kree authorities, while Captain Marvel’s team engaged in a number of short battles with various Shi’ar forces. During the course of these encounters, it was revealed that the Shi’ar had managed to create a massive super weapon—the “Nega-Bomb”—using Kree artifacts including the original Captain Marvel’s Nega-Bands, which has been stolen from the dead hero’s tomb. This bomb was capable of devastating an area equivalent to that of the core Kree Empire, located throughout the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. Also during the conflict, the Kree’s military leaders were assassinated by the Shi’ar agent Deathbird, the Supreme Intelligence temporarily regained control of the Kree forces, and Skrull agents were revealed to be surreptitiously manipulating the court of the Shi’ar Majestrix Lilandra into escalating the conflict. Eventually, Captain Marvel’s Avengers delegation managed to convince Lilandra to try to begin peace negotiations with the Kree. However by this point, the Nega-Bomb had been stolen by Skrull agents and her efforts to recall the weapon failed. [Operation: Galactic Storm]

A series of riots, lootings, arsons and civil disturbance began on April 29 in Los Angeles County, California following the acquittal of police officers on trial for police brutality. In a widely covered case, the mostly white officers had been videotaped beating Rodney King, an African-American man, following a high-speed police pursuit. The riot first started in South Central Los Angeles and then eventually spread out into other areas as thousands of people rioted over a six-day period.

May 1992

While still recovering from his injuries, Batman again put on the costume and began searching for answers. He visited Killer Croc where he was being held at Arkham Asylum and interrogated him about why he needed the ransom money, but this only enraged Croc, whose mutation had grown much more pronounced, causing him to break free and escape. Later that evening, Batman re-captured Croc as he attacked Catwoman. Batman then learned that Catwoman had been controlled by Poison Ivy when she stole the money. Working together, Batman and Catwoman traveled to San Francisco to track down Poison Ivy. When they found her, however, she had Superman under her thrall. Batman the Kryptonite ring in his utility belt to keep Superman off-balance just long enough for Catwoman to drop Linda Troupe (age 41) out of a window in front of him. This shocked Superman out of Poison Ivy’s mind-control, as his natural protective instinct kicked in, and he saved his nephew’s wife. Catwoman then knocked out Poison Ivy with a punch to the jaw. [Batman: Hush, modified to take place ten years earlier]

The Shi’ar Empire’s Nega-Bomb was successfully detonated, and the Kree Empire was devastated by its effects, with billions dying instantaneously. Gathering on Hala, the Kree homeworld, the Avengers discovered that most of the events of the war—up to and including the Nega-Bomb’s detonation—had been manipulated and engineered by the Kree Supreme Intelligence. This creature, an amalgam of the consciousness of thousands of generations of Kree military leaders, calculated that the bomb’s radioactive effects would serve to jumpstart the Kree race’s evolution, which had previously been thought stalled. Horrified by this revelation, and faced with the problem with what to do now with the captured Supreme Intelligence, a group of Avengers decides that the Supreme Intelligence should be killed for its act of genocide. Disagreeing, Captain America held a vote, and a majority of Avengers agreed not to kill the creature. However, the dissenting faction followed through with the execution anyway. (However, the consciousness of the Supreme Intelligence survived and escaped to a waiting spaceship manned by Skrulls.) A Shi’ar delegation then appeared and announced that they would annex the devastated Kree Empire, with Empress Lilandra’s sister Deathbird becoming viceroy of the Kree territories. The Avengers returned to Earth, divided and disillusioned by the events of the war. [Operation: Galactic Storm]

In conjunction with Canada’s Department K, G.W. Bridge (age 41), on leave from S.H.I.E.L.D., formed a special seven-man task force called P.R.I.M.E. (Paramilitary Reconnaissance and Interception of Metahuman Extremism), specifically designed to intercept Cable and X-Force, whom he had come to see as a serious threat.

In Russia, Gavril Ivanovich (b. 1967) debuted as the first post-Soviet addition to the Rocket Red Brigade.

In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, widespread rioting and looting finally ended on May 4 after soldiers from the California Army National Guard, the 7th Infantry Division, and Marines from 1st Marine Division were called in after the local police could not handle the situation. In total, 53 people were killed, over 2,000 people injured and estimates of property damages topped one billion dollars. After the riots subsided, there were significant consequences in the Los Angeles Police Department: an increase in minority officers, analysis of excessive force, resignation of the police chief, loss of support for the Mayor of Los Angeles, and ongoing analysis of the general political and economic atmosphere that contributed to the riots.

June 1992

In Boston, Bruce T. Wayne attended an opera with his friend, brain surgeon Dr. Thomas Elliot. When the opera was interrupted by the Joker’s thugs, Bruce changed into Batman to stop them, only to find that the Joker had apparently shot and killed Tommy while he was fleeing the building. Batman pummeled the Joker and came close to killing him, but was talked down by Police Commissioner James Gordon, Jr. (age 52). After Tommy’s funeral, Batman went over all of the evidence and realized that it had all been a set-up: someone else had killed Tommy and had gone out of their way to make it look like the Joker had done it. [Batman: Hush, modified to take place ten years earlier]

At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter and his friends protected the Philosopher’s Stone and thwarted an attempted comeback by the evil wizard Lord Voldemort. [Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone]

Batman first encountered serial killer Victor Zsasz.

July 1992

Seeking answers about Tommy Elliot’s death, Batman (Bruce T. Wayne) sought help from Talia and Ra’s al Ghul. [Batman: Hush, modified to take place ten years earlier]

On the Skrull Throneworld, the Skrull traitor known as Lyja (age 64 in Earth years, or age 12 by Skrull Throneworld reckoning) gave birth to the egg containing the child she had conceived with the human Johnny Storm (a.k.a. the Human Torch, age 46).

Eclipso was inadvenrtently freed from his prison on the Moon, and began filling human minds with evil. [Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1]

August 1992

Still on the trail of the mastermind behind the recent string of criminal activity in Boston, Batman encountered a seemingly resurrected Jason Todd, but soon discovered that it was Clayface in disguise. Batman then discovered that he had a mole in his organization: in exchange for having his physical deformities surgically repaired, his trusted mechanic Harold Allnut (age 42) had agreed to plant a monitoring device in the Batcave. Just as Harold was about to reveal the identity of the man who did all of this, however, he was shot dead by the villain Hush, who was then revealed to be Bruce’s childhood friend, Dr. Thomas Elliot. (When he had appeared to die in June, it had actually been Clayface imitating him.) The police soon arrived to assist Batman, and in the ensuing melee, Dr. Elliot was shot dead. [Batman: Hush, modified to take place ten years earlier]

Robert Long was born to Donna Troy (a.k.a. Troia, age 41) and her husband Terry Long.

Jesse Chambers (b. 1974), the granddaughter of Elizabeth Lawrence (Liberty Belle) and Johnny Chambers (Johnny Quick), discovered that she was able to tap into the Speed Force using her grandfather’s formula. She became a superhero using the moniker “Jesse Quick.”

September 1992

Batman deduced that the Riddler (Edward Nygma, age 69) had been behind the entire scheme involving Hush (Dr. Thomas Elliot) and the other supervillains in Boston over the past few months. Dying of terminal cancer, he had healed himself in one of Ra’s al Ghul’s Lazarus Pits, and during the subsequent fit of insanity, he’d had an epiphany about Batman’s secret identity. Batman then warned the Riddler that if he tried anything like that again, he would let Ra’s know who it was that had “violated” one of his Lazarus Pits. The Riddler vowed to leave Batman alone and keep his secret. [Batman: Hush, modified to take place ten years earlier]

Harry Potter began attending his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. During this school year, he and his friends began investigating a series of strange threats and attacks. [Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]

While doing research for a psychology course, pre-med student Harleen Frances Quinzel (b. 1973) developed an unhealthy obsession for the Boston serial killer known as “The Joker.”

October 1992

In Los Angeles, mob boss Joe Cabot and his son, “Nice Guy” Eddie Cabot, hired six men to pull off a diamond heist. The job went horribly wrong. [Reservoir Dogs]

Marv, falsely convicted of multiple homocides due to a coerced confession, was executed by electric chair, becoming the first execution in the state of California since 1976. It took two tries. [Sin City: The Hard Goodbye]

The egg containing the child of the Skrull known as Lyja and the human Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) hatched and revealed a baby boy, who was given the name Torus. Lyja, who had been found guilty of treason, was informed that if she wanted her child to live, she would have to cooperate and assist with the planned invasion of Earth.

The ancient Kryptonian living weapon known as “The Ultimate” began its rampage across the United States. Booster Gold’s futuristic armored costume suffered severe damage while fighting the creature, which he nicknamed “Doomsday.” His friend Blue Beetle would later help him repair and modify it.

When his father died, Boston University graduate student Jean-Paul Valley (b. 1968) discovered that he was the heir to the mantle of “Azrael,” champion of the Order of St. Dumas.

Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter, age 35) joined the West Coast Avengers.

After a massive confrontation on the Moon, Eclipso was defeated thanks to his original host, Bruce Gordon. [Eclipso: The Darkness Within #2]

November 1992

After a grueling battle in San Francisco, Superman and Doomsday both killed each other.

Following the dissolution of P.R.I.M.E., G.W. Bridge (age 42) returned to active duty at S.H.I.E.L.D.

December 1992

A memorial was held for Superman in San Francisco. Not long afterward, his body was stolen from his tomb by Project Cadmus, which was attempting to clone it on behalf of Lex Luthor.

Frankie Raye (a.k.a. Nova, age 43) was killed by Galactus’ new herald, Morg. [Silver Surfer #75]

Serving a life sentence to pay for the crimes of his revolutionary father, the man known only as Bane (b. 1962) had been raised from infancy inside the infamous prison of Peña Duro on the Caribbean island of Santa Prisca. There, through sheer determination, he had honed his mind and body. He had also been used as a test subject for an experimental drug called  “Venom,” which gave him increased physical strength, (He required repeated periodic doses, however, or else he would suffer debilitating side effects.) Using his influence within the prison, he was finally able to escape, along with several of his henchmen: Trogg, Zombie and Bird. Bane had heard rumors of Batman in Peña Duro and decided he would travel to Boston to become Batman’s nemesis.

1993

At age 14, Bernhard “Buddy” Baker, Jr. began demonstrating animal mimicry powers like his father had possessed. His dreams were still haunted by visions of various alternate realities, in some of which his father had survived.

January 1993

Gordon Lefferts, a scientist working for Mister Sinister, accidentally released the Legacy Virus. This viroid had been brought from the futuristic Earth-Askani universe by Stryfe and only targeted mutants (Homo sapiens superior).

Bane (age 30) arrived in Boston and made his presence known to the criminal community there.

Thor Odinson returned and reclaimed Mjolnir from Eric Masterson. [Thor #458]

On January 20, Bill Clinton (b. 1946) became the 42nd U.S. President (1993-2001).

February 1993

Discovering that Project Cadmus had stolen Superman’s body, Karen Star (age 37) raided their laboratory and took back her father’s remains, and then took his body to his hidden Fortress of Solitude in northern Alaska.

The second Catwoman (Julie Lee Kitt, age 44) learned that she was pregnant and retired from her life as a costumed burglar.

Impressed with how Eric Masterson handled himself as Thor, Odin gave him a magic mace with similar powers to Mjolnir. (This was secretly a version of Mjolnir that Odin had survived a previous cycle of Ragnarök and had been stored away by Odin for many thousands of years.) Masterson gave the mace the name  “Thunderstrike,” and he soon began using that as his own alias as well. [Thor #458]

On February 26, terrorists connected to al-Qaeda detonated a truck bomb below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack failed to bring down the building as intended, but it did kill six and injure more than a thousand.

On February 28, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) attempted to raid the Mount Carmel Center ranch near Waco, Texas, where the Branch Davidian religious sect and their leader David Koresh were believed to be involved in illegal activities. The Branch Davidians met the raid with armed force, resulting in a standoff that lasted 51 days.

March 1993

While trying to revive Superman with Kryptonian technology at his Fortress of Solitude, his daughter Karen Star (a.k.a. Power Girl) ended up impregnating herself with his clone.

Pat Dugan died at the age of 83. His son, Pat Jr., a mechanic in Los Angeles (b. 1951), inherited all of the old equipment and memorabilia that he still retained from his days as a costumed crime fighter (alias “Stripesy”) during World War II. Although he did not realize it, one of the items in his collection was the “Cosmic Belt” worn by his father’s friend, the Star-Spangled Kid, Sylvester Pemberton.

Daniel Grimm (age 15), son of the original Thing, underwent a transformation and turned into the same kind of “rocky monster” that his father had been.

April 1993

Bane and his men launched an assault on the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane in Danvers, Massachusetts, freeing numerous criminals. [Batman #491]

At Project Cadmus in San Francisco, only one of the thirteen attempted clones of Superman succeeded. This clone, a combination of the DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor, was awakened to consciousness with the body and intellect of a 13-year-old. Originally known as “Experiment 13,” he would soon be called the “Frisco Kid” or just “Superboy.” (Later, Power Girl herself would give him the Kryptonian name “Kon-El,” and he would be proud to call himself “Connor Kent.”)

On April 19, the ATF launched an assault with tear gas to force the Branch Davidians out of the Mount Carmel Center ranch where they had been under siege for 51 days. During the attack, cult members started a fire, which engulfed the compound and 76 people, including cult leader David Koresh, died.

May 1993

Harry Potter saved his friend Ron Weasley’s sister Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets and Lord Voldemort, who was attempting to regain full power. [Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]

Inspired by Superman’s sacrifice to save San Francisco, John Irons (b. 1956), an engineer and former weapons designer for Amertek Industries, decided to become a costumed hero. Wearing a mechanized suit of armor he had designed himself, he debuted as “Steel.”

After ingesting a more potent Green Goblin formula, Harry Osborn (age 45) realized too late that it was lethal.

The Maastricht Treaty establishing the European Union under its current name was ratified on May 18.

June 1993


After a worker was killed at Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, near Costa Rica, the park’s investors demanded that experts visit the site and certify it as safe before revealing its existence and opening it to the public. Lawyer Donald Gennaro invited the mathematician and statistician Ian Malcolm, while chief investor John Hammond invited paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler. The visit ended in disaster after the island’s main power grid was sabotaged, allowing dangerous dinosaurs to roam free. The island was evacuated and abandoned, and the dinosaurs were presumed to have died off.

Former astronaut Hank Henshaw returned to Earth, where he hoped to exact revenge on Superman, but was disappointed to find that he had already died. Over the three years that he had been gone, Henshaw had analyzed a tissue sample of Superman and created an artificial strand of DNA that he had then merged with his robot body, thus reverse-engineering himself into a Cyborg Superman. Still determined to exact his revenge on Superman somehow, he claimed to be a resurrected Superman, so that he could take over Superman’s legacy for himself. Seeing that Hank Henshaw had stepped forward to claim that he was Superman resurrected, the Eradicator, a living Kryptonite weapon Superman had formerly defeated and convinced to reform, decided that it was his duty to uphold the legacy. He stepped forward and claimed that he was the real Superman reborn. Both of the imposters seemed to be Kryptonian and to have legitimate claims, but Superman’s widow Lois Lane Kent (age 75) was emphatic that neither man was her husband, and both men would soon be exposed as frauds.

The leaders of Chicago’s gangs decided to settle their grievances once and for all in a massive “gang bang” confrontation dubbed the “Big Bang.” When word of this reached the Chicago police department, Mayor Richard M. Daley gave the go-ahead for them to use an experimental new tear gas laced with a radioactive marker that would allow the police to track the participants down later. The mayor was hoping that this would boost his reputation for being tough on crime. However, what no one realized was that some of the canisters had been contaminated with a mutagenic compound. Most of those exposed to it—police included—died on the spot. Those who lived were mutated, some being deformed, some gaining unusual abilities in the process. The survivors were nicknamed “bang babies.” Mayor Daley disavowed any involvement, and the Men in Black were brought in to try to contain the situation. Being gang members, many of the bang babies soon began using their new powers as supervillains. However, some of the Chicago citizens affected used their powers for good. One such person was teenager Virgil Ovid Hawkins (b. 1978), who put his new electromagnetic powers to work as the costumed hero “Static.” [Static #1]

July 1993

After weeks of rounding up the criminals released from the Arkham Asylum escape in April, Batman (Bruce T. Wayne, age 47) found himself exhausted an on the verge of collapse. It was at this point that Bane chose to attack, beating him mercilessly before finally breaking his back. Quick action by Robin (Adam Wayne, age 14) and Alfred Pennyworth (age 74) saved Batman’s life, but he would be left with debilitating injuries for the rest of his life. [Batman #497]

At age 18, Roy Harper III debuted with the Titans as “Arsenal.”

G.W. Bridge (age 42), now a high-ranking official at S.H.I.E.L.D., make peace with his former ally turned adversary, Cable.

August 1993

As he recovered from a broken back, Bruce T. Wayne chose Jean-Paul Valley (age 25) to be his successor as Batman. Valley quickly became a more violent and extreme version of the caped crusader, and worked mostly alone rather than with Robin. [Batman #498]

Members of the Green Lantern Corps, the Darkstars and the Legion teamed up to take on the “Triarch,” a trio of powerful, ancient immortals from the planet Maltus. [Trinity]

Magik (Illyana Rasputin, age 26) fell ill and died of the Legacy Virus.

A spaceship carrying half a dozen large, humanoid alien parasites from another dimension crash landed on Earth outside of San Francisco. Over the next few months, Earth’s heroes would try to stop them while they fed on human spinal fluid. This killed most of their victims, but in a small number of cases, it instead activated latent metahuman powers. [Bloodlines]

September 1993

After the villain Eclipso took control of the island of Parador, a Caribbean territory of Colombia, Amanda Waller (age 53) organized a strike force called the Shadow Fighters in order to defeat him and reclaim the island. [Eclipso #11]

During Illyana Rasputin’s funeral, Magneto and his Acolytes appeared and tried to convince the X-Men to join his fight against humanity. Upset over his sister’s death, and blaming Professor Xavier in part, Colossus (Piotr Rasputin) left the X-Men and joined with Magneto.

Harry Potter and his friends began attending their third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which was now protected by “dementors” due to the recent escape of convicted murderer Sirius Black from Azkaban Prison. Harry belived Black assisted in the deaths of his parents and was now targeting him. As he digged deeper, though, he found that nobody was as they really seemed to be. [Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]

October 1993

As Magneto prepared to attack Earth from his orbiting satellite, Avalon, the X-Men traveled there to stop him. When Wolverine nearly killed him with his claws, Magneto lashed out in anger with his magnetic powers, ripping the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton and leaving him bloody and close to death. Enraged by this act of brutality, Professor Xavier used his telepathic powers to wipe Magneto’s mind. Wolverine’s healing factor saved him, but was exhausted by the effort and would take some time before it worked again.

Having developed extraordinarily rapidly, considered a child prodigy even among his own people, Genis-Vell, the son of Mar-Vell, debuted as a cosmic adventurer at the age of 10 under the alias “Legacy.”

Future Foundation leader Reed Richards (age 67, but biologically age 53) traveled to Latveria, home of his longtime nemesis Victor von Doom (age 65), in order to help stop an energy-draining being called “Hunger.” The two men were successful in saving Latveria from danger, but lost their own lives in the process. Doom’s adopted heir, Kristoff von Doom (age 19) inherited the throne of Latveria, while Reed’s son Franklin (age 24) took the reigns of the Future Foundation. [Fantastic Four #381]

Nova (Richard Rider, age 33) was summoned to the planet Xandar in the Andromeda Galaxy, where he learned that the Nova Corps was being rebuilt. He was inducted into the Corps, but allowed to remain as a remote agent on planet Earth. Jesse Alexander (b. 1976) of Earth was also inducted into the Nova Corps at this time.

The new Batman (Jean-Paul Valley) confronted and defeated Bane[Batman #500]

November 1993

The Shadow Fighters confronted Eclipso on the Caribbean island of Parador and were slaughtered. Nearly all of the team was killed, including: Creeper (Jack Ryder, age 56), Doctor Midnight (Beth Chapel, age 39), Major Victory (William Vickers, age 37), Manhunter (Mark Shaw, age 45), Peacemaker (Christopher Smith, age 43), RoboCop (Alex Murphy, age 46) and Wildcat (Yolanda Montez, age 26). [Eclipso #13]

The second Catwoman (Julie Lee Kitt, age 45) gave birth to a daughter, Selina Kitt. From the start, she would be a wild child, like her mother.

Bart Allen’s mother Fiona (age 47) was murdered, and his step-father Donald was arrested and convicted for the crime despite claiming his innocence. The trauma caused Bart’s metabolism to start speeding up, causing him to age three years over the next twelve months.

Mockingbird (Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, age 48) sacrificed her own life to save her estranged husband Hawkeye (Clint Barton, age 48).

A civil war broke out between humans and mutants in the disputed island territory of Genosha, off the coast of Madagascar.

December 1993

The Avengers and X-Men managed to stop the civil war brewing between humans and mutants in Genosha. Unhappy with the way the situation was handled, however, the Avengers were stripped of their United Nations mandate.

Having finally cornered the alien bloodline parasites that had been feeding on human spinal fluid since August, a band of Earth’s heroes were surprised to find that the spinal fluid had been used to give birth to a gigantic alien known as “The Taker.” With great difficulty, the aliens were finally defeated. [Bloodlines, but note that Superman was dead, so he was not involved.]

On December 1, Kal-El Clark Jonathan Kent II (a clone of the original Superman) was born to Karen Kent (Superman’s daughter) at the Fortress of Solitude in Alaska. His grandmother, Lois Lane Kent (age 76) moved to the Kent family farm in Hutchinson, Kansas to help raise him.

Music of 1993
Theme from Schindler’s List composed by John Williams

1994

In the Trianulum Galaxy, the human mutant known as Vul (Gabriel Summers, age 35) became the leader of the “Secret Order” faction and began leading an open rebellion against Shi’ar Empress Lilandra.

Anthony “Tony” Gordon (b. 1971), the son of James Gordon, Jr., joined the Boston Police Department.

January 1994

In the wake of losing Reed Richards, the Future Foundation hired Scott Lang, Sr. (age 44) as a technical consultant. At the same time, Lang was training his son Scott Jr. (age 25) to be the next Ant-Man. Scott Jr. had been born with a heart condition, but had since been given a clean bill of health, and growing up around the Avengers, he was eager to follow in his father’s footsteps.

The extraterrestrial villain Mongul teamed up with Cyborg Superman, who had been trying to pass himself off as the real Superman. Together, they plotted to transform Earth into “Warworld” by planting four massive terraforming engines around the planet. At 4:30 a.m. on Monday, January 17, they set off a series of bombs in the hills north of the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, so that they could clear space for the first of these engines. The bombs triggered an intense, 6.7 magnitude earthquake. The official death toll was 57, with more than 5,000 injured and property damage of more than $20 billion. However, these were the numbers released by the government days after the Men in Black had cleaned up the incident and erased memories. The actual death toll was over seven thousand. Green Lantern Hal Jordan (age 57), who grew up in nearby Santa Clarita, was livid. He caught and defeated Mongul. Meanwhile, the West Coast Avengers tracked down and captured Cyborg Superman. However, Captain America (Steve Rogers) had been visiting the team to investigate the death of Mockingbird (Dr. Bobbi Morse) in November. During the capture of Cyborg Supermen, he was disappointed by the amount of in-fighting and general lack of organization he saw them display, and on his recommendation the team was dissolved soon after. [Green Lantern Vol. 3 #46 and Avengers: West Coast #102, because, of course, Superman was dead.]

February 1994

Green Lantern Hal Jordan returned to his home town of Santa Clarita, California, where thousands had died at the hands of the alien Mongul. Under the influence of the Parallax entity, which had influenced him for years, he succumbed to his anguish and used his power ring to re-create the parts of the city that had been destroyed, including people who had previously died. (Among those “resurrected” by his ring were his own father, who had died in 1948, and the policemen killed in the Newhall Massacre in 1970.) However, when his ring’s power ran out, the hologram disappeared and he was left amid the rubble again. At that point, he was contacted by one of the Guardians of the Universe, who informed him that he had violated one of the principal rules of the Green Lantern Corps by using his ring for personal gain, and that he would have to relinquish his ring and resign from the Corps. Enraged, Jordan traveled to Oa to confront the Guardians. With Parallax gaining more and more control over his mind, he decided that he would siphon off all of the energy from the Main Power Battery in order to permanently re-create those who had died. On his way to Oa, he encountered many of his fellow Corpsmen, who had been sent to intercept him, but Jordan killed them all. When he reached Oa, he destroyed the Central Power Battery, unknowingly freeing Parallax, which grafted itself onto Jordan’s soul, taking full possession of him. The Guardians of the Universe were all killed except for the one known as Ganthet, who absorbed the energy transferred from his fallen comrades and escaped. Ganthet used that energy to create one final power ring.

March 1994

Sarah Connor was placed at a mental institution after trying to blow up a computer factory and warning about the impending  “Judgment Day.” Her son John was placed in foster care. [Terminator 2: Judgment Day]

The Guardian of the Universe known as Ganthet traveled to Los Angeles, California, trying to understand what had happened to drive Hal Jordan insane. While there, the new power ring he had created indicated that it had located the ideal candidate to become the new Green Lantern: graphic design artist Kyle Rayner (b. 1970).

Occult agent Grigori Rasputin returned with Sadu-Hem, a monstrous spawn of the Ogdru Jahad. Rasputin intended to use Hellboy’s stone right hand to free the Ogdru Jahad from their crystal prisons and permit them to raze the earth. However, his plans were foiled by the timely intervention of Hellboy’s associates from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), Liz Sherman and Abe Sapien. Rasputin was killed and Sadu-Hem was burned to death. [Hellboy: Seed of Destruction]

After a fierce battle of will, the Phoenix Force was unable to remain bonded to Rachel Summers (age 37), as she was not a native of this universe. As Rachel recovered from the battle, the X-Men asked Franklin Richards (age 25) of the Future Foundation to help determine if any of the Phoenix Force remained present. He was able to determine that it had completely left her. During this time, Rachel confessed that she and Franklin had been lovers in her universe, and that his death had devastated her. Their conversation soon sparked into a relationship. Franklin had been much older than Rachel in the Earth-D universe, but she now found herself older than him in this universe, and her new love for this Franklin was occasionally tinged with melancholy for the Franklin she had lost. Nevertheless, the couple found themselves very happy for a time, and Rachel quit the X-Men to help Franklin at the Future Foundation.

April 1994

On April 22, the double of Richard M. Nixon died. (Nixon would have been age 81, but it is unknown what age the double was.) The secret government agent had been under Secret Service protection since the real Nixon’s suicide in 1974, and had served his role faithfully; he was never discovered.

On April 27, Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress party won a sweeping victory in South Africa’s general elections, the first in which citizens of all races were allowed to take part.

May 1994

In Los Angeles, hitmen Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega were sent to retrieve a suitcase stolen from their employer, mob boss Marsellus Wallace. A series of strange coincidences followed over the next few days. [Pulp Fiction]

Cassius Payne (age 3), the son of former “Clayfaces” Sandra Fuller (age 34) and Preston Payne (age 48), was kidnapped by the serial killer Abattoir. Batman (Jean-Paul Valley) rescued him, but the child was then taken into custody by the government and kept in a laboratory for study.

Nomad (Jack Monroe) disappeared and was believed to have been killed. In reality, however, he had been kidnapped and was brainwashed again, eventually becoming the new “Scourge.”

On May 6, the Channel Tunnel (known colloquially as the “Chunnel”) opened, connecting France and the U.K. by high-speed rail.

On May 10, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president (1994-1999).

June 1994

The new, more violent Batman (Jean-Paul Valley) teamed up briefly with the Punisher (Frank Castle). [Batman and Punisher: Lake of Fire]

On June 13, former NFL star O.J. Simpson murdered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and waiter Ronald Goldman. As the main suspect in the case, Simpson had agreed through his lawyers to turn himself in to police on the morning of June 17, but did not appear. Later that day, he turned himself in after a dramatic, televised, slow-speed car chase. On June 20, Simpson was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to both murders.

July 1994

Wally West (age 43) tricked Bart Allen into an extreme burst of speed that shocked his hyper metabolism back to normal. Bart (now biologically age 12) then debuted as the hero “Impulse,” determined both to live up to his father’s legacy and to discover the truth about his mother’s murder.

During a fight with the overmaster, Booster Gold’s right arm was severed and he suffered traumatic injuries to his internal organs. He would eventually heal and be outfitted with a new, cybernetic arm.

August 1994

Steve Austin (age 52), the Six Million Dollar Man, and Jaime Sommers (age 45), the Bionic Woman, both retired again from the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI).

At the request of Bruce T. Wayne (age 48), Nightwing (Dick Grayson, Jr., age 31) and Robin (Adam Wayne, age 13) defeated the mentally unstable Jean-Paul Valley (age 26). Valley then agreed to step down as Batman. [Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #63]

September 1994

Harry Potter and his friends began attending their fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]

At the invitation of Bruce T. Wayne, Dick Grayson, Jr. became the new Batman.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Ray Palmer, Jr. (b. 1976) debuted as the new “Atom.”

Jack Knight debuted as the new Starman in Baltimore.

Al Pratt (the original Atom) died at age 74.

Aquaman (Arthur Curry, age 53) lost his left hand in an encounter with the terrorist Charybdis. He would begin wearing a harpoon attachment where his hand had been.

Following the dissolution of the Green Lantern Corps, John Stewart (age 48) was recruited into the Darkstars to help rebuild an interstellar police force for the Milky Way galaxy.

On Sunday, September 4, Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers were married.

October 1994

Documentary footage for “The Blair Witch Project” was filmed by three student filmmakers in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland. The footage was recovered a year later by hikers, but the students remain missing to this day, and are presumed dead.

Ben Reilly, the clone of Spider-Man who had left New York, discovered that May Parker (age 11) had been kidnapped. He rescued her and returned her to her parents, Peter Parker (age 47) and Mary Jane Watson-Parker (age 47) in New York. Seeing that his clone had returned, the Jackal also returned, and convinced everyone that Peter was the true clone and that Ben was the original “Peter Parker.” Soon, Peter and Mary Jane decided to move to Portland, Oregon to raise May, while Ben assumed the duties of Spider-Man in New York City. [The Clone Saga, if it had not spun out of control, with some MC2 thrown in for good measure.]

Oliver Queen (age 52) rediscovered his son, Connor Hawke (age 13), who would soon become the new Green Arrow.

Back in Boston again, the Punisher (Frank Castle) teamed up once again with Batman, only this time there was a different person under the cowl (Dick Grayson, Jr.). [Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights]

On Monday, October 31, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Goblet of Fire selected the names for the Triwizard Tournament and inexplicably included Harry Potter as a fourth contestant. [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]

November 1994

In Detroit, Hayashi Kato retired again at age 46, and his nephew Kono Kato (b. 1970) became the Green Hornet’s new partner.

On Thursday, November 24, the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament took place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]

December 1994

After ten years of constant fighting in a demon dimension, the pleas of the Amazons of Themyscira were heard and they were rescued by Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods, who transported them and their island back to Earth. As a reward for her bravery and loyalty, Queen Hippolyta appointed Artemis (now age 24) as the new “Wonder Woman” and sent her to be the Amazons’ emissary to the world of men. Meanwhile, Hippolyta was seduced by Zeus and became pregnant with his child. She hid her pregnancy, which advanced rapidly until she soon gave birth to a baby girl. She named the girl “Diana,” in honor of her first daughter, and told everyone that she was Diana formed out of clay again and brought to life again by the gods in the same way they had brought her to life the first time.

Mishi Kato (age 25) retired as the vigilante Crimson Wasp.

The Punisher (Frank Castle, age 47) and his ally David “Microchip” Lieberman (age 46) had a falling out, as Lieberman felt that Castle had lost sight of their goal and gone “too far over the edge.” Lieberman selected his own “Punisher” to replace Castle as his partner: Carlos Cruz (b. 1969), a former Navy Seal.

1995

Pat Dugan, Jr. (age 45) married Barbara Whitmore (age 36) in Los Angeles. Together with Barbara’s daughter Courtney (b. 1985), they then moved to Wayne, Nebraska, where Pat had grown up. Ten-year-old Courtney was not happy with this move.

In the Savage Land, Peter Rasputin, Jr. first began to manifest the mutant (Homo sapiens superior) powers he had inherited from his father, Piotr Rasputin (a.k.a. Colossus of the X-Men).

January 1995

After a deadly firefight aboard a ship docked in the San Pedro Bay near Los Angeles, the FBI almost captured legendary crime lord Keyser Söze, but were outwitted by him. [The Usual Suspects]

In Alaska, Aquaman (Arthur Curry, just shy of his 54th birthday) discovered that he had a teenaged son named Koryak (age 15) from his former lover, the Inuit woman Kako (now age 44).

Bishop, the dimension-hopping member of the X-Men originally from the alternate, parallel universe of Earth-Ye found himself accidentally transported to Earth-Alpha, where Charles Xavier had died before organizing the X-Men, and Apocalypse had conquered Earth. [Age of Apocalypse]

The World Trade Organization was established on January 1.

Opening statements began in the O.J. Simpson murder trial on January 24. The televised trial would capture the nation’s attention for the next several months until the jury reached a verdict in October.

February 1995

Kitty Pryde (age 28) became pregnant with the child of Pete Wisdom. She would take a leave of absence from her team, Excalibur.

At the Future Foundation in New York, Rachel Summers (age 38) became pregnant with the child of Franklin Richards (age 26).

On Friday, February 24, the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament took place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]

March 1995

Rex Tyler (the original Hourman) died of a heart attack at age 81.

Mera managed to free her four-year-old son Orin from the prison dimension where they were being held by her enemy Thanatos. However, she was caught before she could escape herself. Thanatos told her that he had caught Orin as well, and killed him, but in reality the child had been discovered by the Atlantean wizard Atlan. Atlan’s sorcery allowed him to recognize Orin as the son of Aquaman (Arthur Curry), but it foretold doom should the child be taken to his father. Instead, Atlan took Orin to Mercy Reef, where he was discovered and raised by marine biologist Dr. Philip Curry, a relative of Aquaman’s human father, Tom Curry. Philip would name him Arthur Joseph Curry, and he would go by the nickname “A.J.” growing up in Florida.

April 1995

Miami narcotics detectives Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowry had to track down drugs stolen from their own police station. [Bad Boys]

Peter Parker’s Aunt May died at age 75.

On April 19, a domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others.

On April 30, the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) was decommissioned, removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic. Public use of the Internet began growing exponentially.

May 1995

In New York City, police lieutenant John McClane (age 39) became the target of terrorists led by Simon Peter Gruber, the brother of Hans Gruber, the man McClane had killed when stopping a terrorist attack in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve 1987. [Die Hard: With a Vengeance]

June 1995

As Apocalypse was killed in the alternate, parallel universe of Earth-Alpha, Bishop was able to use that universe’s version of the M’ Kraan Crystal to transport himself back into our universe. However, several of the other combatants were also able to come through this portal, including the Earth-Alpha versions of Beast, Blink and Holocaust. [Age of Apocalypse]

Martin Stein returned to Earth with the Firestorm Matrix. There, he merged once again with Ronnie Raymond (age 31) in order to cure him of leukemia, then transferred the power of the Firestorm Matrix exclusively to Ronnie.

Darkman (Dr. Peyton Westlake) discovered that his nemesis, mobster Robert G. Durant, was still alive. The two clashed once again, and this time Durant was actually killed.

David “Microchip” Lieberman (age 47) was killed by rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Derek “Stone Cold” Smalls. Afterwards, the original Punisher (Frank Castle, age 48) and Lieberman’s hand-picked replacement (Carlos Cruz, age 26) battled in a confrontation. The two men fought to a draw, and then agreed to put aside their differences. At that point, however, Derek Smalls assassinated Castle. Cruz decided that Castle’s legacy would live on, however. He switched identities with Castle, and continued fighting crime as “The Punisher” using Castle’s name.

On Saturday, June 24, the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament took place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Voldemort and his followers kidnapped Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory, and killed the latter. They then used Harry Potter to restore Voldemort’s spirit to his body in an ancient ceremony. Harry then managed to escape with Cedric’s body. [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire]

July 1995

A Series 1000 Terminator arrived from Earth-J (where it was now the year 2040) to kill ten-year-old John Connor. The 55-year-old John Connor of Earth-J sent a re-programmed Series 800 Terminator to protect his younger counterpart in our universe. [Terminator 2: Judgment Day]

The Asgardian god Loki began collecting the Infinity Gems, which had been scattered throughout multiple parallel universes. In the process, he discovered a seventh gem: Ego.

August 1995

Iron Man (Tony Stark, age 56) fell under the mind control of Kang the Conqueror (Nathaniel Richards, age 84).

September 1995

Harry Potter and his friends began attending their fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. During this year, having seen firsthand that Voldemort has returned and furstrated that they are not being taught to defend themselves, Harry began teaching students defensive studies in secret on the side, calling his group, “Dumbledore’s Army” or the “D.A.” [Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]

Spider-Man (Ben Reilly, biologically age 48) and Batman (Dick Grayson, Jr., age 32) teamed up to battle the Joker and Carnage in New York City and Boston. [Spider-Man and Batman]

Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson) was killed in action. [Thunderstrike #24]

October 1995

At age 53, Oliver Queen appeared to die when his plane exploded while he was working undercover, but he had actually managed to get off the plane in time. Oliver laid low for a while, reflecting on his life, but would eventually re-emerge with a “chance to make a difference.”

S.H.I.E.L.D. Executive Director Nick Fury (age 76, but appearing younger thanks to the use of the “infinity formula”) was assassinated by the second Punisher (Carlos Cruz, age 26). G.W. Bridge (age 45) was made the new Executive Director.

The Ego Gem, possessing the Avenger Sersi, merged with the other Infinity Gems to form the entity “Nemesis.” Nemesis battled the Avengers and their allies before being defeated and being scattered into its seven component Infinity Gems again.

On October 3, the “Trial of the Century” would end as O.J. Simpson was found innocent of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and waiter Ronald Goldman.

November 1995

The demon Neron caused havoc on Earth, after using newfound powers to offer a number of heroes and villains various deals in exchange for their souls. [Underworld Unleashed]

Mishi Kato (the former Crimson Wasp, age 26) became pregnant with the child of Paul Reid (The Green Hornet, age 28).

Katelyn Pryde, the daughter of Katherin “Kitty” Pryde and Pete Wisdom, was born in England.

Jonathan Reed “J.R.” Richards, the son of Rachel Summers and Franklin Richards, was born in New York City.

Nine years after the apparent death of Alec Trevelyan (agent 006) on one of his first missions, the third James Bond discovered that Trevelyan was alive and plotting to rob the Bank of England.

Oracle (Barbara Gordon, age 35) and Black Canary (Dinah Lance, age 42) co-founded the crime-fighting team “Birds of Prey.”

U.S. President Bill Clinton (age 49) began to have a secret affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (age 22), which would last until March 1997.

December 1995

Several of Earth’s heroes confronted the demon Neron in his realm in the Underworld, where they were able to defeat him and free the Earth from being under his sway. [Underworld Unleashed]

Green Lantern Kyle Rayner briefly teamed up with the Silver Surfer. [Green Lantern / Silver Surfer]

Music of 1995

Gramofon composed by Eugen Doga
Palladio composed by Karl Jenkins

1996

In the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, Deathbird was overthrown as Governor by the Ruul, a seemingly new species, who had actually been evolved from the Kree by the Supreme Intelligence. The Ruul quickly removed all Shi’ar influence from the galaxy and established the Ruul Empire. Most Kree were unaware that the Ruul were related to them, but saw this change as positive, as the Ruul reestablished much of the Kree cultural instituitions that had been banned under the Shi’ar.

James Bond, Jr. (age 23), the son of the original James Bond, joined MI6.

January 1996

Carrie Sandsmark (b. 1983) debuted as the new “Wonder Girl” after her mother, archaeologist Dr. Helena Sandsmark (b. 1952), unearthed ancient artifacts that gave her magic powers. Carrie was taken under the wing of Wonder Woman (Artemis of Themyscira, age 25) and trained in the ways of the Amazons.

In Detroit, the current Green Hornet, Paul Reid, was killed fighting crime. His partner, Kano Kato blamed himself. After talking to his uncle and mentor Hayashi Kato, Kano went to Japan to seek direction in his life.

Captain America and The Avengers discovered that Tony Stark (age 56) secretly had a son, Tony Stark, Jr. (b. 1977), who had been raised with his mother in Seattle and was now attending M.I.T.

The villain “Lock-Up” debuted in Boston.

On January 20, witnesses report seeing a strange creature in Varghinha, Brazil. It is about 5 feet tall and bipedal, with V-shaped feet, a very thin body, brown skin and large red eyes. It seemed to be wobbly or unsteady, and was probably injurred. The Brazilian military investigated and found a crashed spacecraft and aliens. Two days later, another alien was found lying along the road.

February 1996

At age 78, the retired superhero Johnny Quick (real name Johnny Chambers) ran into the Speed Force while saving the life of his granddaughter Jesse Chambers (alias Jesse Quick, age 21).

The teenaged son of Tony Stark was able to access one of the Iron Man suits and help The Avengers fight Kang the Conqueror. In the end, Tony Sr. was able to break free of the mind control and sacrificed his own life to save his son and defeat Kang. Tony Jr. put the Iron Man suit back into storage and returned to college, not yet prepared to take on the responsibility of succeeding his father.

In an explosion that would have killed an ordinary man, the Red Skull (Johann Schmidt in a 31-year-old cloned body of Captain America) lost an arm and was gravely injured. He would be in a coma for over three years.

At age 13, the reincarnated assassin Elektra undertook her first assignment (in this life) for the Hand ninja clan.

March 1996

Construction was completed on the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which became the world’s new tallest buildings.

Samuel Alexander was born in Arizona to Jesse and Eva Alexander (both age 19). True to his word, Jesse had returned from the Andromeda galaxy, where he had been serving in the Nova Corps, in order to witness the birth of his son. He retired from being a Nova, but soon found that he had difficulty adjusting to life back on Earth due to PTSD, and he began abusing alcohol to cope.

April 1996

There was an outbreak of graboid attacks at an oilfield in Sonora, Mexico. [Tremors 2: Aftrrshocks]

After years of evading capture, serial killer Theodore Kaczynski, a.k.a. “The Unabomber,” was arrested at his remote Montana cabin on April 3.

May 1996

Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (age 25) and the Darkstars helped defend the planet Rann against Grayven, one of the sons of Darkseid, Rayner finally defeated Grayven, but not before many Darkstars were killed, and John Stewart (age 50) had his spine shattered and lost the use of his legs. Stewart and several other Darkstars retired as the squadron disbanded, with the last four remaining members (Bron, Munchukk, Colos and Galius Zed) remaining behind on Rann to help rebuild.

Betty Ross Banner (age 54), estranged wife of Bruce Banner (Hulk, age 59) discovered that she suffered from radiation poisoning that was slowly killing her.

June 1996

The “Battle of the Department of Mysteries” was fought. After Harry Potter and his “Dumbledore’s Army” group were trapped by a group of Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic, the Order of the Phoenix came to their rescue. Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black, was killed in the confrontation. [Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]

An invasion fleet of telepathic, semi-humanoid alien invaders was turned away by Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (age 26) before ever reaching Earth. [Independence Day]


On Friday, June 21, the hybrid human–H’San Natall children who had been born in 1980 all turned 16 years old. The H’San Natall returned to abduct them and mentally condition them to act as revolutionary leaders for the upcoming invasion. However, they were only able to abduct three of the nine children: Isaiah Crockett, Toni Monetti and Cody Driscoll. While investigating, the new Atom (Ray Palm, Jr., age 19) was caught in the energy stream and inadvertently abducted as well. Once on the H’San Natall ship, the hybrid teenagers found they had superpowers that were activated. The Atom helped them escape, and they also freed another human–H’San Natall that they found on the ship, a girl named Prysm who had been raised in a virtual reality environment. Returning to Earth, the five of them decided to form a new version of the Titans.

July 1996

Meredith Quill (age 45) was killed by Badoon assassins, orphaning her son, the half-alien Peter Jason Quill (age 10).

The first successfully cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was born in Scotland on July 5.

August 1996

A man going by the alias “Tyler Durden” founded a secret Fight Club in Los Angeles, California. This club would soon grow into a subversive, anti-corporate organization called “Project Mayhem.” [Fight Club]

Darkman (Dr. Peyton Westlake) stopped drug lord Peter Rooker and used his improved synthetic skin to heal Rooker’s daughter. He then retired from crime fighting and disappeared.

September 1996

Harry Potter and his friends began attending their sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Voldemort began waging open warfare, Harry took private lessons with Dumbledore, who showed him that to preserve his life, Voldemort had split his soul into pieces, called “Horcruxes.” [Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]

October 1996

The Eugenic s Wars came to an end, as Khan Noonan Singh and the other remaining “augments” were routed and relinquished control of the nations they had held under their thumbs. The 84 survivors escaped Earth on a “sleeper ship” that put them in cryogenic stasis while they headed out of the Solar System, bound for another world.

Ray Palmer, Jr. secured funding for the newest incarnation of the Titans from the Jupiter Foundation, and they set up a base of operations in San Francisco.

Sam Wilson, Jr. (age 22) debuted as the second Falcon using his father’s old flight harness. He was accompanied by Redwing, the mutant red-tailed hawk that had served as his father’s companion for years and was still in extraordinary health despite being over 30 years old.

November 1996

After studying sorcery and unlocking the power of his royal heritage, Garth (age 44) adopted the new name of “Tempest.” He then returned to the Hidden Valley, where he faced and defeated his uncle Sizzath to reclaim his rightful throne.

December 1996

The acting Spider-Man, Ben Reilly (age 50), was killed, revealing that he had been the real clone after all. Peter Parker (the original, age 50) and his family had recently returned to New York from Portland, Oregon, and Peter resumed the mantle of Spider-Man.

In a forest on the planet Bovric, interstellar police officer Sinjin Quarrel discovered “Ship,” the sentient spacecraft of Star-Lord (Alan Peter Quill), who had been missing since July 1985. Quarrel, who was a mild telepath, communicated with Ship, but found that her memory banks were missing any record of why Quill had disappeared. Discovering Quill’s Star-Lord weapons, Quarrel decided to become his successor and take on the mantle, while searching for clues to his whereabouts.

1997

Speculation on Internet-based commerce began driving U.S. stock prices up in what would become known as the “dot-com bubble.” Many new companies rapidly increased in price, but found it difficult to actually turn a profit.

U.S. Army Captain David Webb volunteered for Operation Treadstone, a top-secret CIA project. He underwent behavioral modification, turning him into a lethal weapon, spy and assassin. He was then given a new identity as “Jason Bourne.”

Former New York crime boss Michael Corleone died alone in Sicily at age 77.

January 1997

Batman (Dick Grayson, Jr., age 34) followed a pair of villains from Boston to New York, where he teamed up with the new Daredevil (Matt F. Murdock, age 26). Batman gave Daredevil a few pointers about being a crime fighter, while Daredevil showed Batman why New York City was a lot different than Boston. [Daredevil and Batman]

Dr. Helena Sandsmark’s discovery of the artifacts attracted the attention of the British-born demigod Lennox, son of Zeus. Lennox had a brief affair with Helena, and although Helena (age 44) believed she was no longer able to have children, she became pregnant.

Graydon Creed was an outspoken critic of mutants who led the Washington political action committee “Friends of Humanity,” which secretly sponsored violent mutant hunters. A charismatic leader, he was seen by some as a potential future Presidential candidate. At a fundraiser, he was assassinated by Mystique, who blamed him for the deaths of several mutants she knew. His death led many in the U.S. government to call for increased security and a crackdown on violators of the Mutant Registration Act.

February 1997

Four strangers survived a commercial plane crash that killed 274 others: the co-pilot Marlon Corbet, physicist Brenda Ruskin, computer game designer Kenn Kawa, and NASCAR driver Clay Brody. After getting funding from an anonymous donor and permission from Rocky Davis, they became the new “Challengers of the Unknown.” Their primary mission was to solve the mystery of the bright light that caused their plane to crash.

March 1997

After accidentally burning down the gym at her old school, high school sophmore and vampire slayer Buffy Summers (b. January 1981) started attending classes in San Luis Obispo, California.

A friend of Graydon Creed’s, a defense contractor going by the name Sebastion Gilberti (actually the cyborg Bastion) was put in charge of a new program called “Operation: Zero Tolerance.” While his mandate was to train federal and local law enforcement on techniques to better enforce the Mutant Registration Act, Bastion used the leeway he was given to restart the Sentinel robot program, with his own upgrades.

On March 13, in an incident known as the “Phoenix Lights,” lights of varying descriptions were seen by thousands of people in a space of about 300 miles, moving in a V-formation from Nevada, across Arizona, to Sonora, Mexico. No known military or civilian craft were in the area at the time. Some later lights in a straight line over Phoenix, AZ were attributed to a military “training exercise.” (In actuality, these were military craft searching for the UFOs.)

April 1997

Having tracked Alan Peter Quill’s trail back to Earth, the new Star-Lord (Sinjin Quarrel) learned the truth: that his predecessor had sacrificed his life to save the universe during the Crisis. Quarrel then pledged to watch over Quill’s nephew and namesake, Jason Peter Quill (age 12), his only living relative.

Desiree Winthrop (b. 1961) gave birth to Peter Benjamin Reilly Winthrop, the son of the late Ben Reilly (the clone of Peter Parker who had served as Spider-Man). He initially appeared to be a normal child, without any of his father’s spider-powers.

May 1997

Donna Troy’s husband Terry Long and four-year-old son Robert Long were killed in a car accident.

June 1997

Using his newly constructed Prime Sentinels, Bastion implemented an aggressive new phase of “Operation: Zero Tolerance,” designed to capture and/or extermination as many unregistered mutants as he could find. He targeted the X-Men first, capturing a number of them and seizing control of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. However, his brutal tactics soon led even other mutant critics in the U.S. government to question this approach.

Over the summer, an unexplained sound (later termed “The Bloop”) was repeatedly recorded on the Equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array. The sound originated approximately 1,500 miles west of southern Chile, near the purported location of R’lyeh. Years later, government scientists would report that the sound had been made by an iceberg, even though this explanation had been ruled out previously.

After Draco Malfoy smuggled several Death Eaters into Hogwarts, the Battle of the Astronomy Tower was fought and Albus Dumbledore was killed. Afterward, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger committed to the hunt for Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes with Harry Potter. [Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince]

Suicidal after the death of his wife and unborn child, Michael Holt was visited by the Spectre, who told him about Terry Sloane, a man with similar gifts to his own. Inspired, Holt then decided to become the second “Mister Terrific.”

July 1997

Having determined that Bastion had exceeded his government mandate in his implementation of “Operation: Zero Tolerance,” by trying to kill mutants indiscriminately, the U.S. government sent in S.H.I.E.L.D. to shut down his operation and take him into custody.

August 1997

After coming out of retirement with enhanced powers and being defeated by Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 50) yet again, the villain Electro (Max Dillon, age 61) threw himself into the Hudson River, where he exploded and died.

Duiring a heat wave in Los Angeles in late August, Los Angeles Police Department lieutenant Mike Harrigan had a run-in with an alien hunter. [Predator 2]

After years of courtship, Mandrake the Magician (age 96, but appearing younger due to magic) finally wed his longtime girlfriend Princess Narda of the magical kingdom of Cockaine (age 92, but appearing younger due to magic) in the first of three separate, extravagant ceremonies.

On August 29, the Skynet computer defense system became self-aware and attempted to start World War III. However, it was shut down in time thanks to the intervention of Dr. Hank Pym (age 63) and the Avengers. [The Terminator, with Judgment Day prevented thanks to the fact that the misguided Onslaught Saga never happened.]

On August 31, Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a high-speed car accident while attempting to elude paparazzi.

September 1997

What would have been their seventh year and final year began at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but Harry Potter and his friends found themselves on the run from the forces of Voldemort and did not report to the school. [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]

Wonder Woman (Artemis of Themyscira, age 27) was killed by the demon Neron. Donna Troy (age 46) returned to being a superhero again, taking up the mantle as the new Wonder Woman, and taking over as mentor for Wonder Girl (Carrie Sandsmark, age 14). Carrie quickly began to idolize the new Wonder Woman.

October 1997

Cassandra “Cassie” Sandsmark was born to Dr. Helena Sandsmark (age 45). The younger sister of Carrie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl, age 14), she was the daughter of the demigod Lennox and the grand-daughter of Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 50) and Batman (Dick Grayson, Jr., age 35) teamed up to take on the Kingpin and Ra’s al Ghul. [Batman and Spider-Man]

November 1997

December 1997

Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 51) lost a leg while battling several villains. Although he was eventually fitted with a bionic leg, he retired from crime fighting.

1998

January 1998

The villain Prometheus attacked the Justice League.

Adopting the alias of his late father, “Mister Fantastic,” elastic-powered superhero Franklin Richards (age 29) re-formed the Fantastic Four. He invited his lover Rachel Summers (age 41) to join the team, but she declined, choosing instead to complete her college education and take care of their two-year-old son, J.R. Instead, joining him were Ant-Man (Scott Lang, Jr., age 28), the Thing (Daniel Grimm, age 20) and former Power Pack member Energizer (Katie Power, age 18). It soon became apparent that there were romantic sparks between Franklin and Katie, despite their age difference and Franklin’s live-in girlfriend.

Seven-year-old Cassius “Clay” Payne, the son of shape-changers Sandra Fuller and Preston Payne, escaped from the government laboratory where he had been raised, and became the fifth “Clayface.”

A scandal broke in Washington as it became apparent that some suspected U.S. President Bill Clinton of lying under oath about having an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On January 26, President Clinton issued a public denial of the allegations.

February 1998

Having graduated from M.I.T., Tony Stark, Jr. (age 21) returned to Seattle and founded his own company, Stark Solutions. He also began wearing the Iron Man suit again for the first time since his father died, and realized that it was his destiny to carry on that legacy. Stark met his father’s old chauffer, Harold “Happy” Hogan (age 62), and hired him. Hogan’s daughter Jennifer “Pepper” Hogan (age 18) also moved to Seattle and attended the University of Washington while working for Stark as an intern.

May “Mayday” Parker (age 14) began developing super powers, just like her father and surrogate father Ben Reilly had displayed. Determined to become a costumed crime fighter like them, she started training herself and working on a costume of her own.

March 1998

On St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday, March 17), fraternal twins Connor and Murphy MacManus (b. 1969) began a vigilante killing spree, first taking on Russian mobsters and then various other criminals in Boston[The Boondock Saints]

April 1998

May 1998

Jessica Jones, formerly the costumed superhero Jewel, decided to try it again. This time she adopted the alias Knightress. While intercepting a meeting between The Owl and a mobster, the met fellow hero Luke Cage for the first time, and the two became close friends.

Adam Wayne (age 17) graduated from high school. Determined to make it on his own, he changed his crime fighting alias from “Robin” to “Nightwing” and announced his plans to move back to his hometown of Providence, where he intended to start taking classes at Brown University in the fall. That same month, Tim Drake (age 12), who lived next door to Wayne Manor, confessed to Dick Grayson, Jr. (age 35) that he had figured out that he was Batman. Grayson was surprised to find that Drake had been studying his moves and was a naturally gifted acrobat. Seeing something of himself in the kid, he agreed to train him as the new Robin.

On Saturday, May 2, the Battle of Hogwarts was fought, and Harry Potter defeated Voldemort once and for all. [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]

June 1998

Fraternal twin brothers Connor and Murphy MacManus (age 29) and their father Noah “Il Duce” MacManus (age 55) ended their vigilante killing spree in Boston by killing mob boss Don Giuseppe “Papa Joe” Yakavetta during his trial. [The Boondock Saints]

Superboy (Kon-El, biologically age 18), Impulse (Bart Allen, biologically age 17) and Robin (Tim Drake, just shy of his 13th birthday) teamed up for the first time. They would soon decide that they worked well together and begin calling themselves “Young Justice.”

July 1998

The new Challengers of the Unknown disappeared without a trace.

On July 28, Monica Lewinsky received transactional immunity in exchange for grand jury testimony concerning her relationship with U.S. President Bill Clinton.

August 1998

As his son Bruce Adam Wayne (Nightwing, age 17) moved to Providence to attend college, Bruce Thomas Wayne (the former Batman, age 52) became less involved with the “Bat-Family.” He soon renewed his love affair with Talia al Ghul, who used her specialized knowledge to help heal Bruce’s lingering back problems during their time together.

On August 17, U.S. President Bill Clinton admitted in grand jury testimony that he had lied under oath about having an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

September 1998

In Newport, Rhode Island, the members of Young Justice tracked down the hidden cave that had served as the original headquarters of the Justice League. There, they inadvertently reactivated the dormant Red Tornado android, who agreed to serve as their mentor.

With the help of Aquaman (Arthur Curry, age 57), Mera escaped from the prison dimension where she had been held captive for eight years by Thanatos. Mera and Arthur reconciled and rekindled their relationship as they returned to Atlantis. However, Mera would suffer greatly from PTSD after her long captivity.

October 1998

In New York City, May “Mayday” Parker (age 15) debuted as Spider-Girl, following in the footsteps of her famous father.

Gay college student Matthew Shepherd from the University of Wyoming was beaten, tortured and left to die near Laramie, Wyoming on the night of October 6, and died six days later from severe head injuries. Shepard’s murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.

On Saturday, October 31, Michael Myers (age 41) tracked down his younger sister Laurie Strode (age 37), who was now living under the assumed name “Keri Tate” in Northern California with her 17-year-old son John. Michael once again tried to kill his sister, but this time she ended the threat once and for all by decapitating him.

November 1998

Wanda Maximoff (The Scarlet Witch, age 51) discovered that her recent experiences with the sorceress Morgan le Fay had left her able to weild powerful chaos magic to alter the very nature of reality. [Avengers Vol. 3 #10]

December 1998

The crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavor was able to obtain high-resolution photography of the “Black Knight” satellite, a mysterious 13,000 year old extraterrestrial artifact in Earth’s orbit that had first been observed in 1954.

Talia al Ghul discovered that she was pregnant with the child of Bruce Thomas Wayne. Wanting to keep the pregnancy a secret, she ended their relationship and sent him away.

On December 19, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached U.S. President Bill Clinton on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice.

1999

The “Y2K” computer problem required attention throughout the year to ensure that many computer programs that had used two digits to mark the year in dates did not roll back to January 1, 1900 at the end of the year instead of progressing to January 1, 2000. Worldwide, over $300 billion was spent fixing this problem, with just under half of that spent in the U.S. alone.

The Chicago branch of S.T.A.R. Labs acquired the four remaining JPL Voyager spacecraft prototypes that had been in storage since the mid-1970s. The best of these, which was dubbed Voyager 6 by the staff, was renovated with a new computer network, nuclear power source and high speed propulsion system, and then launched it from Wisconsin above Lake Michigan on a secret mission to collect massive amounts of data about the Solar System and beyond. The mission met with disaster, however, as the spacecraft was seemingly destroyed a few days after launch. In fact, Voyager 6 survived and was transported via a wormhole to a distant part of the galaxy, where it fell into the gravitational field of a planet populated by a race of living machines. The inhabitants found the probe to be kindred to themselves. Deciphering its simple, 20th century programming, which directed Voyager 6 to collect all data possible and return that information to Earth, the machines interpreted it literally, and constructed a massive vessel around the probe in order to facilitate that directive. On its journey back its “creator,” it would amassed so much knowledge that it achieved consciousness itself, becoming a living thing, identifying itself as “V’ger.”

January 1999

Former New York Post editor and outspoken Spider-Man critic J. Jonah Jameson, Jr. was killed in a car accident at age 79. The circumstances of the accident were suspicious and made to look like the new hero Spider-Girl was to blame.

Ted Knight (formerly Starman, age 83) was giving a lecture on alternative energy when he was kidnapped by neo-Nazi skinheads belonging to a group called the “Knights of October.” Batman (Dick Grayson, Jr., age 36) and Hellboy teamed up to track the group down to a deserted airfield, but in the ensuing battle their leader Dantz escaped with the prisoner on board a small plane. Hellboy vowed to go after him, but Batman had to return to Boston. Ted Knight’s son Jack (age 41), the new Starman, joined Hellboy in following the kidnappers to the Amazon Rainforest. There, they discovered that Dantz was using Ted Knight’s scientific knowledge to try to reanimate the demonic Suggor Yogeroth. Hellboy invoked an ancient Lemurian incantation to dispel the demon, and the duo were able to drive it back and release Ted Knight. [Batman/Hellboy/Starman]

Young Justice added three new members: Arowette (Suzanne “Cissie” King-Jones, age 17), Wonder Girl (Carrie Sandsmark, age 15) and Secret (the ghost of 14-year-old Greta “Suzie” Hayes). [Young Justice #4]

The euro currency was introduced in non-physical form at midnight on January 1, when the national currencies of participating countries (the Eurozone) ceased to exist independently and exchange rates were fixed.

February 1999

On February 12, the U.S. Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of both impeachment charges.

March 1999

After an incredible final battle, the evil Luciphor was slain and Mandrake the Magician (age 98) retired to Tibet, where he took over from his father Theron as grand master of the College of Magic (Collegium Magikos). He was accompanied by his wife Narda (age 94), his current bodyguard Lothar, Jr. (age 53) and his original bodyguard and best friend Lothar, Sr. (age 86). His chef Hojo (age 67) retired.

When his mother, Karen Page, was killed, Matthew Franklin Murdock (b. June 1970) decided to carry on his father’s legacy by becoming the new Daredevil.

On March 11, a widespread power outage (the largest ever at the time) occurred in Brazil, affecting 75 to 97 million people in seven Brazilian states.

April 1999

Beatrix Kiddo, an ex-member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, was attacked by her former compatriots on her wedding day. She told their leader Bill that she was pregnant with his child, but he still shot her and left for dead. She survived, however, and spent the next four years in a coma. [Kill Bill Volume 1]

On April 20, shootings by two students at Columbine High School in Colorado left 15 dead and 23 wounded. The highly publicized attack became a focal point of the gun debate in America.

May 1999

The Kargil Conflict began between Indian and Pakistan.

After another defeat at the hands of the X-Men, Magneto traveled to the disputed island territory of Genosha, northeast of Madagascar. There, he assumed absolute control of the government and began remaking the island into a homeland for mutantkind, forcibly expelling many non-mutants from its shores. While the United Nations refused to recognize the new “nation,” word soon got out among the mutant community, and thousands of mutants began to immigrate there from around the world. [Magneto Rex #1–3]

June 1999

Now 14 years old, Courtney Whitmore discovered the costume and “Cosmic Belt” worn by the original Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton) among her stepfather’s memorabilia, and used them to make herself a superhero, debuting as the new Star-Spangled Kid.

July 1999

The Kargil Conflict between Indian and Pakistan came to an end.

Fearing what might happen to his stepdaughter, Courtney Whitmore, as a costumed hero, Pat Dugan, Jr. (age 48) decided to wear a suit of mechanized armor he had designed and become her bodyguard and sidekick. He called both the armor and himself S.T.R.I.P.E., which stood for “Special Tactics Robotic Integrated Power Enhancer.”

The Red Skull (Johann Schmidt in a 34-year-old cloned body of Captain America) awoke from his three-year-long coma. Fitted with a bionic arm, he began scheming once again.

August 1999

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cole Sear (b. 1990) a troubled, isolated boy who was able to see and talk to the ghosts of the dead, was able to cope with the implications of his extraordinary talent with the help of child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (b. 1955). [The Sixth Sense]

The son of Bruce Thomas Wayne was born to Talia al Ghul. He was given two names at birth: Ibn al Xu’ffasch (“the son of the bat”) and Damian Wayne.

In Boston, Stephanie Brown (age 13), daughter of the villain known as the Cluemaster (Arthur Brown, age 58), debuted as the vigilante “Spoiler” in order to spoil her father’s plans to return to a life of crime.

After decades of searching for a cure for his protégé, whom he had turned into a silicon-based monster in 1945, Wesley Dodds (the original Sandman) was finally able to reverse the accident and re-awaken Sanderson “Sandy” Hawkins from suspended animation. Although 54 years had passed, Sandy had only aged about eight years, and now appeared to be biologically about 25 years old. Furthermore, he now had certain superhuman powers, such as the ability to turn his body into sand and control silicate substances. Although he had trouble adjusting to life over half a century later, he again took up the cause of being a superhero, this time under the name “Sand.”

The Nth metal weaponry of the Hawkwoman attached itself to Kendra Saunders (age 37). While she did not gain knowledge of her previous lives as reincarnations of Princess Chay-Ara of ancient Egypt, she gradually came to have an understanding of the power and responsibility that she had been given. She then became the third Hawkwoman.

September 1999

Solovar, the leader of the hidden Gorilla City, was assassinated at the age of 53.

October 1999

During the first year of her psychiatry residency at Arkham Asylum, Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, M.D. (age 26), who had become obsessed with the Joker, helped him escape and debuted as his new costumed sidekick, “Harley Quinn.”

The anti-corporate terrorist organization Project Mayhem tried to blow up a buildings in Los Angeles’ financial district, but were stopped when the plot was discovered by New York City police detective John McClane (age 44), and the bombs were deactivated by the FBI. Project Mayhem’s leader, a man going by the alias “Tyler Durden,” was caught and imprisoned, but the underground movement carried on without him. [Fight Club, with a little Die Hard thrown in.]

November 1999

As demonic forces threatened Earth, the Spectre began using Hal Jordan as its new host to return to Earth, with the secret agenda of destroying the Parallax entity now bonded to Jordan’s soul. Because Jordan was not dead, like most of the Spectre’s hosts, the Spectre had to force Jordan’s physical body into a state of death-like catatonia. [Day of Judgment]

December 1999

Costumed revolutionary Anarky (Lonnie Machin, age 31) was killed in Boston.



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