Secret History of the Universe: Part Seven

1960-1979


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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...



The Silver Sixties / Swinging Sixties / Counterculture Era

1960

The Olympian god Hermes gave Wonder Woman (Princess Diana of Themyscira, age 38) a magical pair of sandals that would allow her to fly.

Charles Xavier completed his residency and gained his M.D. in psychiatry. He accepted a position as adjunct professor at Columbia University, and then decided to travel abroad. Over the summer, he met a young, orphaned Ororo Munroe (age 8) in Cairo, where she had become a pickpocket. He also met a powerful telepathic mutant known as the “Shadow King,” and defeated him in astral combat, barely escaping with his life. In the fall, he found himself in Israel, where he made the acquaintance of Max Eisenhardt, a Holocaust survivor who would one day become known as “Magneto.” Xavier and Eisenhardt struck up a fast friendship and had many philosophical conversations, including ones about the implications of the emergence of Homo sapiens superior, before they discovered that they were both mutants. Xavier’s experiences in Egypt and Israel, and his conversations with Eisenhardt, convinced him that he must dedicate his life to protecting and nurturing young mutants.

Frank Hardy died of pancreatic cancer in Bayport, New York at the age of 51. His brother Joe (age 50) then married his longtime friend and long-distance romantic interest Nancy Drew (age 46), and the two of them moved to Naples, Florida.

Matt Murdock and Franklin “Foggy” Nelson both graduated from Columbia University at the age of 22 and began attending Harvard Law School.

Donald Blake (actually Thor, the Norse “God of Thunder,” under enchantment) completed his residency and earned his medical degree. He then entered into private practice in New York City.

January 1960

The Soviets destroyed the city of Raminsk, Russia with a ranged atomic weapon in order to destroy the now three-year-old children born there as a result of the “Time-Out” incident of August 1956. They feared that the children, who were exhibiting mind-control powers, had grown too powerful and were too great a threat. The government of the United Kingdom considered locking up the remaining 12 children from the village of Midwich, England. As a compromise, Professor Gordon Zellaby was allowed to personally supervise them and study them for a period of one year. [Village of the Damned]

Detective Abrogast followed Marion Crane’s trail from Phoenix, Arizona to Blythe, California. There, he too was murdered. Lila Crane and Sam Loomis then followed Abrogast to Blythe, where they solved the mystery of the Bates Motel murders.

February 1960

Aquaman (Arthur Curry) discovered an Atlantean youth named Garth (b. March 6, 1952) living alone in the wilds of the North Atlantic. The child displayed powers similar to his own, and he took him under his wing. Garth would soon adopt the nickname “Aqualad.”

In the U.K., Project Zarathustra was deemed too dangerous and was cancelled. Within their simulated world, project participants Michael Moran, Richard Dauntless and Johnny Bates were lured into a trap where a nuclear device was meant to destroy them. Dauntless was killed, but Moran and Bates survived. Moran’s memory had been erased and he was allowed to re-enter society. Bates had somehow retained his memory and powers; he fled and was labeled a fugitive.

The Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz, Green Martian, age 68 in Earth years or 36 in Martian ords) contacted several of his fellow heroes about reforming the Justice Society of America. At the suggestion of Superman (Clark Kent, Kryptonian, age 40 in Earth years), the name was changed to the Justice League of America. The other founding members included Wonder Woman (Diana, Amazonian, age 38), Batman (Dick Grayson, human, age 27) and The Flash (Barry Allen, human, age 27).

March 1960

The Justice League of America faced its first challenge in the form of Starro the Conqueror. With great difficulty, they managed to defeat the mind-controlling alien invader thanks to the help of the Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 (Hal Jordan, human, age 24), Aquaman (Arthur Curry) and non-powered teenager Lucas “Snapper” Carr (age 17), all of whom were then offered honorary League memberships. Through Carr’s uncle, Kathy Kane (Bat-Woman, age 26) anonymously offered to fund the League and provided a secret headquarters in Newport, Rhode Island.

Thomas “Tommy” Troy (age 25) graduated from law school and decided to take up fighting crime again in Indianapolis, Indiana as “The Fly.”

Michael Martin, now a science director for the Special Weapons Programs of the U.S. Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado, secretly arranged to trap technician Allen Adam in an experimental rocket that he had been working on, and then blast it into the atmosphere, where it was bombarded with radiation. Martin was convinced that Adam was the next metahuman candidate that he could turn into a nuclear-powered superhero. Unfortunately, the rocket exploded when it entered the upper atmosphere, and Adam was atomized. However, he did somehow gain superpowers that included the ability to re-form his body, and he found that he was now a being of pure energy. He soon became a crime fighter under the name “Captain Atom.”

On Tuesday, March 15, Howard and Maria Stark died in a car crash. Their son, recent M.I.T. graduate Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark (b. January 2, 1939), inherited Stark Enterprises. Under Tony’s leadership, the company would grow quickly over the next couple of years, especially in the field of weapons technology. [Tony's birthday in honor of Don Heck.]

April 1960

Dr. Niles Caulder (a.k.a. “The Chief”) located and recovered the missing body of Robotman from where he died in a 1953 cave-in. The android body was the restored, re-plated in a gold-alloy and further modified by Caulder for future use.

Merry Pemberton (age 32) remarried. Her new husband, and stepfather to her son Sylvester Jr. (age 9), was Henry King (age 48), the reformed supervillain formerly known as “Brain Wave,” who was a friend of her father’s and had become a great comfort to her after the death of her first husband, Sylvester Pemberton (the former Star-Spangled Kid), from cancer in 1958.

May 1960

Randolph William “Ralph” Dibny (b. May 26, 1939 in Wymore, Nebraska) had discovered that the extract of the rare gingo fruit of the Yucatan helped trigger latent mutant (Homo sapiens superior) abilities, allowing him to stretch and bend his body with great elasticity. Having just graduated from the University of Nebraska on the verge of his 21st birthday, he decided to put his abilities to the test and traveled to Kansas City. There, taking the alias “Elongated Man,” he began to investigate a string of crimes that had plagued the city. At first, The Flash (Barry Allen) mistook Dibny for the criminal responsible, but the two soon formed a lasting friendship. Dibny did not become a full-time crime fighter at this time, but he would lend a hand to The Flash and other heroes from time to time over the next few years.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the 1960 Civil Rights Act into law.

An American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union.

June 1960

At age 18, Oliver Queen put his archery skills to use fighting crime as “The Green Arrow” in Hollywood, California.

On Thursday, June 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of the birth control pill in the U.S., ushering in the Sexual Revolution.

July 1960

Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, traveled to the planet Korugar to assist his mentor Thaal Sinestro, the Green Lantern of Sector 1417, in repelling an alien invasion. There, he learned that Sinestro had installed himself as dictator over the planet. When this was revealed to the Guardians of the Universe, Sinestro was stripped of his ring and banished to the Antimatter Universe. Katma Tui, a leader of the resistance on Korugar, was recruited as the new Green Lantern of Sector 1417. Due to Sinestro’s totalitarian reign, however, the people of Korugar saw the Greeen Lantern Corps as a symbol of oppression and disowned Tui for joining them.

As the “Time-Out” children of Midwich, England continued to grow more powerful and more dangerous, Professor Gordon Zellaby realized that they were indeed a threat to humankind. Steeling his resolve, he detonated a bomb in their midst, killing all of the remaining children as well as himself. [Village of the Damned]

August 1960

Banished to the Antimatter Universe, Thaal Sinestro became allied with the Weaponers of Qward against their mutual enemies, the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe.

On the planet Rann, the elemental being known as Ulthoon the Tornado Tyrant confronted Adam Strange and was defeated. Afterwards, Ulthoon spent a long time contemplating the nature of good and evil. Ultimately, his personality split into two entities, the “Tornado Champion” who believed that the path of charity and mercy was superior, and the “Tornado Tyrant” which believed that it was preferable to indulge one’s personal ambitions at the expense of others. For some time, the Tornado Champion became Ulthoon’s dominant personality.

September 1960

Madelyne Pryor, a clone of the mutant Jean Grey, was born in Alaska thanks to the machinations of Nathaniel Essex (Mister Sinister). He would monitor the girl over the course of her life, ready to use her as a pawn, but was disappointed when she did not develop powers at puberty, as the Omega-level mutant Jean Grey had.

James Gordon, Jr. joined the Boston Police Department under his father. Meanwhile in Chicago, James’ 16-year-old cousin Roger and his girlfriend Amy had a baby girl (born September 23) and named her Barbara. Amy soon abandoned Roger, who raised the baby with the aid of his mother Thelma (the sister of James Gordon, Sr.).

On Monday, September 26, the first-ever U.S. Presidential debate took place between candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Significantly, the debate was broadcast on television and was watched live by approximately 70 million viewers. At the time, Nixon had not completely recovered from a recent hospital stay and thus looked pale, underweight and tired. He also refused makeup for the first debate and his beard stubble showed prominently on the era’s black-and-white TV screens. Kennedy, by contrast, appeared tanned, confident and relaxed during the debate. Afterwards, polls showed Kennedy moving from a slight deficit into a slight lead over Nixon.

October 1960

Hawkman (Carter Hall, age 44) brought his friend, anthropologist Fred Cantrell (age 32) to the hidden city of Feithera in northern Greenland. As a friend of the Bird People of that city for many years, they had agreed to allow his friend to spend the winter with them studying their society.

On October 13, the U.S. began an economic embargo of Cuba.

November 1960

Calling himself “Divine Majesty King Groot XXIII, Monarch of Planet X,” a member of the Flora Colossus (a species of sentient, tree-like beings) came to Earth seeking to capture a town so that he could study human beings. His aggressive actions were soon countered by scientist Leslie Evans, who infected Groot with termites. Groot was driven off and believed destroyed, but in fact survived and was captured and imprisoned by The Collector in a subterranean “zoo” beneath Canada.

After a decade of declining sales, The Detroit Times was sold to its rival newspaper The Detroit News. Days later, Britt Reid (the former Green Hornet, age 54) sold The Detroit Daily Sentinel newspaper to the rival Detroit Free Press, reducing the number of major daily newspapers serving Detroit to two.

December 1960

Working together, the Weaponers of Qward and Thaal Sinestro fashioned a special yellow power ring. Sinestro then returned to our universe and began his one-man crusade against the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe.

1961

Max Mercury arrived in 1961 after bouncing off the Speed Force in 1949. Before long, he was again thrown forward into the future, this time to the 1970s.

J. Jonah Jameson, Jr. (age 41) was promoted to editor of the news section at the New York Post newspaper. Jameson pledged to use the Post as a “daily bugle” to wake up America to the issues of the day.

An African-American boy from Baltimore named David (b. 1948) was kidnapped and taken to sea. The kidnappers turned out to be fugitives from the Atlantean penal colony of Xebel. Along with several other prisoners, David was tortured and experimented on over the next several years. At one point, David saw Aquaman and tried to signal for help, but he was not seen.

While investigating what he believed to be a case of advanced human mutation in a town near the Himalayas, an alien calling himself “Lucifer” dropped a huge stone block on Charles Xavier, crippling him. Later, while recovering from his injuries in India, Xavier fell in love with a woman named Amelia Voght. Like Xavier, Voght turned out to herself be a mutant and when Xavier was released from the hospital he moved in with her.

A scientist named Pariah in a parallel dimension reawakened the Monitor and Anti-Monitor when he accidentally duplicated Krona’s “time-bending” experiments that had created the Multiverse 6.2 billion years prior. The Anti-Monitor again began destroying positive matter universes, while the Monitor began trying to stop him. However, with every universe he destroyed, the Anti-Monitor grew stronger, while the Monitor grew weaker.

January 1961

A Japanese vessel caught in a storm ran aground on Infant Island, a presumably uninhabited island that had been contaminated by radiation from a U.S. nuclear test in 1958. After the storm, a rescue party found four sailors from the ship alive and well on the island, and unaffected by radiation sickness. The sailors attributed their condition to juice provided to them by island natives. The story was broken by reporter Zenichiro “Zen-chan” (“Bulldog”) Fukuda and photographer Michi Hanamura, who infiltrated the hospital to examine the survivors. [Mothra]

President Eisenhower pardoned Isaiah Bradley, a.k.a. “The Black Captain America,” and he was released from prison in exchange for swearing to secrecy about the still-classified Operation Rebirth project and his role in it.

President Eisenhower pardoned Greg Sanders, a.k.a. “The Vigilante,” for operating as a masked hero without government sanction, and for the murder of the men who had killed his sidekick Stuff. He was released from prison and retired to Phoenix, Arizona.

On January 20, John F. Kennedy (b. 1917, d. 1963) became the 35th U.S. President (1961-1963). On January 28, President Kennedy was briefed, together with all the major departments, on the latest plan to invade Communist Cuba. Kennedy authorized the active departments to continue, and to report progress.

February 1961

After being chased across he galaxy from his home planet Thanagar (approximately 325 light years from Earth in the Polaris system), notorious criminal Byth Rok (age 69 in Earth years, or 33 in Thanagarian ones) eventually ended up on Earth, where he detected the signature of Nth metal, known to few in the galaxy outside Thanagar. The Nth metal led him to Carter (age 45) and Shiera (age 43) Hall in Detroit, Michigan. He murdered the couple, although they managed to save their seven-year-old son Hector (b. 1953). Byth took the Nth metal and tried to use it to enhance his shape-changing powers in combat against his pursuers, Thanagarian police officers Katar Hol and Shayera Thal (both age 60 in Earth years or 28 in Thanagarian ones). During the ensuing battle, however, the Nth metal bound itself instead to Katar and Shayera, and they were able to overpower and slay Byth. Having absorbed the memories of Carter and Shiera through the Nth metal, they felt they had discovered a spiritual purpose far greater than they had known on Thanagar. Katar and Shayera felt a calling to remain on Earth where they became foster parents to Hector Hall while using their new Nth metal powers to become the new Hawkman and Hawkwoman. [There are a thousand different Silver Age origin stories for Hawkman and his bride. This is a simplified compromise of all of them.]

In response to the rescue of the Japanese sailors, the U.S. Embassy announced they would co-sponsor a joint Japanese-U.S. scientific expedition to Infant Island.

In Japan, the young Gargantua named “Sanda” escaped from the laboratory of Dr. Paul Stewart and hid in the mountains.

March 1961

The CIA helped Cuban exiles in Miami create the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC), chaired by José Miró Cardona, former Prime Minister of Cuba. Cardona became the de facto leader-in-waiting of the intended post-invasion Cuban government.

The Japanese-U.S. scientific expedition arrived on Infant Island. The expedition team included businessman sponsor Clark Nelson, radiation specialist Dr. Harada, and linguist/anthropologist Shin'ichi Chūjō, as well as stowaway reporter Zenichiro Fukuda. On the island, the team discovered a vast jungle of mutated flora, a native tribe and two young women only twelve inches tall. The “Shobijin” (small beauties), as Fukuda dubs them, communicated with the expedition team and expressed their wish to have their island spared from further atomic testing. [Mothra]

In Westchester County, New York, Ralph Dibny (a.k.a. “Elongated Man”) met wealthy heiress Susan Dearborn (b. February 6, 1942) when he crashed her debutantes’ ball. The two fell in love and began a whirlwind romance.

April 1961

Having spent the past 13 years searching for Kal-El (Superman), the Kryptonian criminal General Dru-Zod and his associates Ursa and Non finally found him on planet Earth in the Solar System of the Milky Way Galaxy. There, they battled him and initially had the upper hand, but Superman was eventually able to defeat them and return them to imprisonment in the Phantom Zone.

Clark Nelson returned to Infant Island with a crew of henchmen and abducted the “Shobijin” from the natives.

Green Arrow (Oliver Queen, age 19) joined The Justice League of America as its sixth full-time member.

When Hawkman (Carter Hall) did not return to retrieve him after his six month stay in the Bird People’s hidden city of Feithera in northern Greenland, anthropologist Fred Cantrell (age 33) realized that he had become stranded. (He did not know that his friend had been murdered in February.) With the permission of the Bird People, he remained in their city and became even more integrated into their society. It soon became clear that despite their biological differences, he and Osoro (b. 1939), the daughter of Worla (b. 1912), leader of the Bird People, were developing feelings for each other. Eventually, against the wishes of her people, Osoro would marry the outsider.

On Wednesday, April 12, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space.

After two days of diversionary tactics, the U.S. attempted an invasion of Cuba April 17-19. Known as the “Bay of Pigs Invasion,” the attempt failed and served to further strengthen Fidel Castro’s control over the island nation. It also strengthened Cuba’s relations with the Soviet Union, which had provided a warning to Cuba ahead of the invasion thanks to intelligence gathered by the KGB.

May 1961

Clark Nelson opened a profitable “Secret Fairies Show” in Tokyo featuring the Shobijin singing. Zenichiro Fukuda accused Nelson of holding the girls against their will, but Nelson denied the charge and filed a libel suit against the paper. [Mothra]

Supergirl was made an honorary member of the Earth-M universe Legion of Super-Heroes.

On the planet Tamaran in the Vegan star system (25 light years from Earth), Princess Komand’r was born. She was the heir to the throne and the first female child born to the royal family since the unfavorable treaty with the Citadel had been signed over 100 Vegan calendar cycles (76½ Earth years) earlier, but the celebrations that arose on the joyous day of her birth were seen as a threat by the Citadel Empire, tyrannical rulers of 22 habitable planets in that star system. To remind the people of Tamaran that their royal family was a puppet government only, they destroyed the city of Kysarr, killing three thousand citizens in the name of the new princess. Furthermore, they crippled the princess, removing her ability to fly by harnessing ultraviolet radiation, as all of her species could do. Although none of this had been her fault, Princess Komand’r came to be seen as a curse by her people, and was removed from the line of succession for the throne of Tamaran.

On Friday, May 5, U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard became the second human and first American in space.

June 1961

In Japan, the U.S. Embassy defended Clark Nelson’s property rights over the Shobijin.

On Infant Island, a giant egg that the natives called “Mothra” and worshipped as a god opened and a gigantic caterpillar emerged. It began swimming across the Pacific Ocean toward Japan. Along the way, it destroyed a cruise ship and survived a napalm attack. [Mothra]

After much persuasion, Johnny Storm’s father agreed to let the 15-year-old travel to Los Angeles, California to spend the summer with his older sister Sue (age 24), who by this time put her business degree to work by becoming a rising executive with one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies. Meanwhile, Sue’s boyfriend, Dr. Reed Richards (age 35), started to hear rumors that his government space flight program might be cancelled due to Congressional budget cuts, and the entire space research division of the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) might be rolled into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He took advantage of the summer hiatus at Caltech to work around-the-clock at the top-secret base in Stockton, California to complete work on his prototype rocket.

Dr. Otto Octavius (b. 1922 in Schenectady, New York) and Dr. Mary Alice Burke were brought onto the research staff at the Western New York Nuclear Research Center in Buffalo, New York, which had just opened in April to conduct research on atomic energy, specifically in relation to the health sciences. Octavius would soon develop prototype mechanical tentacle-like prostheses for handling nuclear fissile materials, which also showed great promise as replacement limbs for paraplegic patients.

July 1961

Dr. Richard Kimble returned to his home in Indiana to find his wife Helen murdered and a one-armed man leaving his house. Kimble was brought in for questioning by the police, and after evidence seemed to implicate him for the crime, he was arrested.

On July 21, Virgil “Gus” Grissom became the second American in space.

Investigating the case of Robert Carey, “the incredible shrinking man,” Yale University research chemist Dr. Ray Palmer had rediscovered and improved upon the shrinking process that Darrel Dane had developed a decade earlier. On July 29, he debuted as “The Atom.” [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

The giant caterpillar Mothra arrived on the Japanese mainland. It was attacked by the Japan Self-Defense Forces, but proved impervious to their weapons and built a cocoon in Tokyo Tower. Public opinion turned against Clark Nelson, and he was ordered to release the Shobijin. However, he fled incognito to New Zealand. On July 30, Mothra emerged from its cocoon and flew to Auckland, New Zealand, where Nelson had taken the Shobijin. Mothra caused considerable property damage to the city before Nelson was killed in a shootout with police. The Shobijin were then reunited with Mothra and returned to Infant Island. [Mothra]

August 1961

Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, had his first encounter with Thaal Sinestro since the latter’s return from the Antimatter Universe with his new yellow power ring. Sinestro captured Jordan, but Jordan managed to trick Sinestro and escape, setting up a long-time rivalry between the two former compatriots.

Physicist Dr. Henry Jonathan “Hank” Pym (b. October 26, 1934) of Cornell University learned of his colleague Ray Palmer’s breakthroughs in shrinking techniques at Yale University. Pym had been studying the phenomenon independently, and bribed one of Palmer’s students to provide research notes so that he could further improve upon the science. [Hank's birthday in honor of Larry Lieber.]

Dr. Reed Richards (age 35), one of the most brilliant minds on Earth, had been working to develop a rocket ship capable of long-distance space flight at a secret Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) base near Stockton, California (the former headquarters of the U.S. military’s “Project Skyhook” satellite program). When he was informed that the program was to be cancelled, he determined that he would sneak onto the base and conduct a test flight himself. He contacted Ben Grimm (age 37), a former World War II pilot who had jokingly promised to one day fly Richards’ rocket ship to the moon, and convinced his old friend to come to California. With the help of Reed’s girlfriend Susan Storm (age 24), and her teenage brother Johnny (age 16), they were able to gain access to the rocket and launch it. In high-altitude orbit, Richards noted an intense cosmic radiation anomaly unlike anything ever seen before. Although he believed the ship’s shielding would protect them, the radiation forced them to abort the mission. When they landed, they found that each of the four crew members had been given unusual abilities by the cosmic rays. Richards found his body was stretchable and malleable; Grimm’s skin became rocklike and impenetrable and his strength was greatly increased; Sue Storm learned that she could turn invisible at will; and Johnny Storm discovered that he could ignite the air around him and fly. The quartet agreed to work together to find a use for their newfound powers. Meanwhile, in light of the failure of Richards’ project, the OSI shut down their space research division.

Later that month, they debuted as “The Fantastic Four,” putting their abilities to use to serve the public good. They each chose codenames: Johnny took the name “The Human Torch” after the hero of old, Sue was “The Invisible Girl,” Reed took the name “Mister Fantastic,” and Ben referred to himself as “The Thing.” Their first mission together was to stop the Mole Man, who made his debut from Monster Island (Caprona).

On August 13, the East German Army closed its border with West Berlin. Construction of the Berlin Wall (1961-1989) began four days later.

On Monday, August 28, Ralph Dibny (a.k.a. “Elongated Man,” age 22) married his girlfriend of five months, Sue Dearborn (age 19) in a courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

September 1961

With the closing of the OSI space research division, one of its scientists, Dr. Emery Zackro (age 63), decided to pursue his dream of starting an alternative to NASA that would be funded by private business. Returning to his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, he founded the American National Space Association (ANSA). Their first project was an ambitious one: to design a ship capable of interstellar space flight within one decade.

While on an expedition to Peru, zoologist Ralph Hardy discovered an enchanted belt that gave its wearer the “power of a human jaguar.” When he returned to the U.S., he used it to fight crime as “The Jaguar.”

Barry Allen (now age 28) first met his idol, the original Flash, Jay Garrick (now age 43). Garrick would periodically come out of retirement from this point on to reunite with his Justice Society teammates or work with Allen, but he mostly stayed retired from crime fighting.

The Fantastic Four relocated to New York City. Johnny Storm returned home to live with his father, physician Franklin Storm, in an apartment in Manhattan, from which he began attending his senior year of high school. Meanwhile, Reed Richards dealt with numerous inquiries from the U.S. government while simultaneously using his personal fortune to open a research laboratory in New York’s historic Baxter Building to study what he called “unstable molecules.”

October 1961

After Marvel Comics published an account of the initial adventures of the Fantastic Four, Sue Storm negotiated a licensing deal with them. Although it would take many years to become standard practice, Sue would later serve as agent for many of the heroes that Marvel printed, including Spider-Man and the X-Men.

A son, Henry Jr., was born to Henry King (age 49) and Merry Pemberton King (age 33).

November 1961

After two months, Reed Richards and Ben Grimm completed the initial work themselves on their new laboratory in the Baxter Building, which would serve as the headquarters for the Fantastic Four.

Nine months after their murders, Carter and Shiera Hall (the former Hawkman and Hawkgirl) were reincarnated as newborn babies, once again fated to fall in love and cursed to meet an early death. In their new lives, Carter was born as Joseph Gardiner in Missouri, and Shiera was reincarnated as Kendra Saunders in Pennsylvania.

December 1961

Having discovered a radioactive pool of protoplasmic jelly in a cave, Matt Hagen found that it transformed his body into a malleable, clay-like form. He then debuted as the second criminal to go by the name of “Clayface.”

Dr. Richard Kimble was found guilty of first degree murder at his trial for killing his wife Helen in July. Although he still claimed that he had seen a one-armed man kill her, the prosecution had made a convincing case against him, and he was sentenced to death.

1962

A cholera pandemic began (1962-1966).

On the Navajo reservation in Arizona, Brave Bow died, and 13-year-old Roy Harper, Jr. decided to travel to Los Angeles to search for living relatives. When he arrived, however, he could find none. With no money to his name and no experience living in a big city, he found himself living in the street, but he put his expert survival skills to work and made the best of it. Surrounded by crime, he soon realized he could help people and began putting his archery and athletic skills to use. Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) heard rumors of another archer in the city and tracked him down. When he saw Harper in action, Queen nicknamed him “Speedy,” because he had the fastest reflexes he had ever witnessed, and offered to take him on as a junior partner. The two soon struck up a close bond.

Johnny Chambers (age 45) and Elizabeth Lawrence (age 44) divorced after 20 years of marriage. Elizabeth got primary custody of their two children, while Johnny put all of his energy into starting his own company, Quick Start, Inc.

Cliff Steele was in a near-fatal racecar accident in Daytona Beach, Florida. The only thing that saved his life was radical surgery: a brain transplant into an android body provided by Dr. Niles Caulder (a.k.a. “The Chief”). Steele was highly depressed at no longer being human and frustrated at losing his career. Eventually, however, he agreed to join Caulder’s team of adventurers, The Doom Patrol.

Early in the year, Charles Xavier and his girlfriend Amelia Voght moved to Xavier’s estate in Westchester County, New York. There, Xavier began pursuing his dream of opening a school for mutant children. The first student he recruited was Scott Summers. When Summers moved in, Voght left Xavier, believing that he was fighting a lost cause. In the fall, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters opened with a class of five students. In addition to teaching them academically, Xavier began coaching them to train physically for the role of costumed mystery men, believing that they should embrace their powers and prepare for the worst.

Meanwhile, on Muir Island off the coast of Scotland, Xavier’s former lover, geneticist Moira MacTaggert (age 29), founded the Mutant Research Center in order to protect, study and help her young son Kevin (age 4), whose reality-distorting mutant powers were growing stronger and more dangerous.

Wendell Rand (age 38) returned the Himalayas, accompanied by his wife Heather (age 36), their young son Daniel (b. 1952), and Wendell’s business partner Harold Meachum (b. 1923),  to search again for the mystical city of K’un-Lun, which only appears in our dimension once every ten years. Meachum, who was in love with Heather, used the opportunity to stage an accident, forcing Wendell to plunge to his death. He then tried to take Heather and Daniel back to camp, but Heather realized what he had done and fled from him. Meachum himself would have an accident pursuing them and would end up losing his legs before being rescued and returning to New York. Meanwhile, Heather and Daniel would discover a mysterious bridge in the mountains. As they reached it, Heather was attacked and killed by wolves,  but Daniel made it across and was saved from the wolves by archers from K’un L’un. They took him to Yü-Ti, the ruler of the city. Yü-Ti listened to Daniel’s story and saw his desire for vengeance, and decided to apprentice him to Lei Kung, “The Thunderer,” who would teach him martial arts. Daniel would prove a gifted student.

January 1962

Based on his own research and the stolen research of Dr. Ray Palmer (The Atom), Dr. Henry Pym developed his own, improved shrinking technology. (Despite the fact that two other scientists before him had discovered them, Pym was the first to published a paper identifying the radioactive particles involved, and the name “Pym Particles” has been used ever since.) Testing the technology on himself, Pym shrunk himself to the size of an insect. [Tales to Astonish #27]

The Fantastic Four first encountered the alien shape-shifting Skrulls.

The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic started on Tuesday, January 30 in Kashasha, Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Children at a small boarding school were affected by uncontrollable laughter with symptoms lasting from a few hours to 16 days. It soon spread to other nearby villages: 14 schools were shut down and thousands of young adults or schoolchildren were affected in the next few months.

February 1962

Traveling by blimp, Dr. Henry Dodd, his daughter and grandchildren crash-landed on an uncharted island (Caprona) in the South Indian Ocean. There, they met Kona, “The Monarch of Monster Island,” and encountered dinosaurs, giant insects and other monsters.

On February 20, John Glenn became the third American astronaut in space and the first American (and only second human being after Yuri Gagarin) to orbit the Earth, circling the globe three times during a flight lasting 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds.

March 1962

Kathy Kane (Bat-Woman, age 28) discovered she’d become pregnant by her boyfriend Dick Grayson (Batman, age 29). She retired from crime fighting, and the two made plans to be married.

The Fantastic Four unveiled new, matching uniforms and a flying “Fantasticar.” However, tired of being “bossed around” by the other members of the team, 17-year-old Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) quit the team, making it a “Fantastic Three,” despite the team’s new “4” logo.

April 1962

While on his own, Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) discovered an amnesiac Namor living in New York City. After regaining his memory and discovering that his home, the Atlantean city of Thakorr, had been destroyed, he declared war on humanity. Johnny Storm then reconciled with his Fantastic Four teammates.

In Kansas City, Missouri, a 10-year old Benjamin “Ben” Turner (b. 1952) witnessed a burglar attacking his parents and he proceeded to kill the man with a kitchen knife. In an effort to control the rage inside him, Turner would begin studying martial arts.

May 1962

Encouraged by his secret success in creating Captain Atom, U.S. Air Force Special Weapons Program science director Michael Martin (age 36) arranged for nuclear another “accident” to happen that could create a nuclear-powered superhero. He identified Rick Jones as a prime metahuman candidate and tricked the orphaned teen into driving onto a testing range in the New Mexico desert where the Air Force was testing its new gamma bomb, designed by Dr. Robert Bruce Banner (b. January 22, 1936). However, Dr. Banner saw Jones and rushed to save his life, pushing him into a ditch and absorbing the full blast of the gamma radiation himself. Instead of killing him, the radiation transformed him into a large, gray humanoid monster that men on the base nicknamed “The Hulk.” Accompanied by a grateful Jones, Banner fled, switching between his normal and monstrous forms based on his emotional state. Over time, his monstrous “Hulk” form began to grow noticeably more green than gray. [Dr. Banner's birthday in honor of Bill Bixby.]

On the planet Rann in the Alpha Centauri system, Adam Strange fought against the invader Kanjar-Ro. He was soon assisted by the Justice League of America, which had traveled from Earth. They offered Strange the opportunity to join the JLA, but he declined.

June 1962

Dick Grayson (Batman) and Kathy Kane (Bat-Woman) were married.

The Boston Strangler murders began (1962-1964).

When the owner tried to re-open Camp Crystal Lake in New Jersey, Pamela Voorhees returned to poison the water and set several fires. The camp was shut down once again and did not re-open until 1979.

On June 11, Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin became the only three men to ever escape from Alcatraz Federal Prison after executing one of the most intricate escape plans ever devised. A fourth prisoner, Allen West, was left behind.

July 1962

The Fantastic Four first encountered Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom, b. 1928). When Doom was defeated, he abandoned his “Time Platform,” a device allowing for travel between parallel universes. Reed Richards brought the platform back to the Baxter Building for further study.

After using the alias “Chick Carter” for most of his life, the private investigator changed his name to the alias used by his adopted father, “Nick Carter.” (This made the 29-year-old the third person to use that name.) He then became a secret agent for the U.S. Agency of Exceptional Engagements (AXE), and was assigned the codename “N3.”

August 1962

At a public science exhibit, New York high school sophomore Peter Parker (age 15) was bitten by a radioactive spider and gained spider-themed super powers.

While on vacation in Norway, Dr. Donald Blake (actually the Norse god Thor under enchantment) witnessed the arrival of an alien scouting party and fled into a cave. There, he discovered his hammer Mjolnir, sent by his father Odin in the form of a wooden walking stick. Striking it against a rock, he was once again transformed to his true self as the “God of Thunder.” However, he had not yet regained his memories or realized that this was his true form. As Thor, he defeated the aliens, but afterward, he turned back into his Donald Blake form again and continued to live a double-life among the mortals, turning into Thor only when needed.

On August 5, actress Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home. Her death was discovered to be from a barbiturate overdose, and was ruled a probable suicide.

After another victim of the Boston Strangler was found on August 30, Dick Grayson began trying to solve the crimes in the guise of Batman, but the trail quickly dried up. Grayson became frustrated that he was proving to be less adept at detective work than his predecessor had been. With Batman on the trail, however, there were no new Boston Strangler murders for the next three months.

September 1962

Having perfected his shrinking technology, Dr. Henry Pym had become fascinated with insects and had worked to develop a means of controlling them. Now equipped with a special suit and cybernetic helmet, he debuted as “Ant-Man.” [Tales to Astonish #35]

While investigating the death of the British Intelligence Station Chief in Jamaica, agent James Bond is discovered the plot of Dr. Julius No and the secret organization SPECTRE (also known as “The Secret Empire”) to disrupt rocket launches from Cape Canaveral with atomic-powered radio beams.

As his sophomore year of high school began, Peter Parker found that his already high intelligence had become incredibly advanced, especially in regards to science, math and engineering. He started seeing problems as interconnected “webs” and intuitively understanding how the various parts interacted.

At age 12, Khan Noonien Singh left India and began attending an exclusive boarding school in Spain, where he excelled at every subject.

Kara Zor-El (a.k.a. Linda Lee Danvers or Supergirl) began attending college on a scholarship at the Richmond Professional Institute in Virginia. While living in Virginia. Her adopted mother Edna was from Virginia, and while there she got to know her extended family. One of the people she met was her cousin Carol Danvers (b. 1945), a year Linda’s junior, who would begin attending the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs the following fall.

October 1962

The year-old Saxton Nuclear Generating Station in Bedford County, Pennsylvania was sabotaged  by one of its attending scientists, Dr. Rasp. Two other scientists, Dr. Bently and Dr. Solar prevented a meltdown, but both were exposed to massive doses of radiation. Bently lost his life, but Raymond Solar was endowed with superhuman abilities, which he used to become a new costumed hero, “The Man of the Atom.” Dr. Rasp was secretly an agent of the criminal mastermind Nuro (later known as King Cybernoid). Michael Martin, a science director for the U.S. Air Force Special Weapons Projects, had secretly worked with Nuro to arrange the attack on the Saxton plant, as he had identified Solar as a potential radiation-induced metahuman.

Thor’s presence on Earth attracted the attention of Loki, who began causing mischief for his adoptive brother and arch-foe.

Debonair, Robin Hood-like thief and amateur detective Simon Templar (b. 1937) began operating in London as “The Saint.”

On October 2, Dr. No captured and imprisoned Bond at a secret installation off the coast of Florida called Crab Key. However, Bond managed to escape and overload No’s nuclear reactor just prior to the October 3 early morning take-off of the Mercury 8 rocket piloted by astronaut Wally Schirra. During hand-to-hand combat between Bond and No, the scientist was pushed into the reactor’s cooling vat, in which he boiled to death. Bond escaped before the entire facility exploded.

Peter Parker saw an ad offering a cash prize for anyone who could stay in the ring for three minutes with a professional wrestler at an event in Queens on Saturday, October 6. Wearing a mask to hide his identity and calling himself “Spider-Man,” Parker was able to use his heightened agility and “spider sense” to easily outmaneuver his opponent and win the prize. A producer in the audience then offered him the opportunity to wrestle on television.

On October 14, the “Cuban Missile Crisis” began as the U.S. announced a military blockade of Cuba to pressure the Soviet Union to withdraw its nuclear missiles. The conflict was the point during the Cold War at which the two sides came closest to nuclear war.

Richard Grayson, Jr. was born October 24 to Kathy Kane Grayson (Bat-Woman) and her husband Dick Grayson (Batman).

On Friday, October 26, Peter Parker made his television wrestling debut at an event in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After Parker won his match, however, the television producer refused to pay him. When Parker later saw a thief escaping with the gate receipts, he did nothing to stop him.

The Cuban Missile Crisis ended on October 28 when U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U.N. Secretary-General U Thant reached an agreement with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to publicly withdraw all nuclear weapons from Cuba in exchange for a U.S. declaration and agreement to never again invade Cuba. Secretly, the deal also included the U.S. dismantling nuclear weapons deployed in Italy and Turkey.

November 1962

Peter Parker continued practicing the use of his spider-powers and wrestling as “Spider-Man” at professional events to earn extra money. He also continued to redesign his costume, and first began to work on artificial web shooters. He found that he seemed to intuitively know how to chemically synthesize the artificial spider silk he was looking to make.

In Africa, Thomas Reese Blake, a gifted athlete and former trapper of jungle cats, witnessed Catman (David Merrywether) killed in a confrontation with poachers. Afterward, he was amazed to see the man come back to life, revived by the ancient, mystical cloth that he wore, which bestowed its wearer with nine lives, as well as the heightened strength, reflexes and senses of a cat. As he helped nurse Merrywether back to health, he learned that he only had one life remaining. Acting impulsively, Blake then murdered Merrywether yet again and stole the costume for himself, becoming the new Catman.

December 1962

On Saturday, December 8, Peter Parker (age 16) returned home from a wrestling match in Queens to find that his Uncle Ben had been killed in a robbery. Learning that the police had the culprit cornered in a warehouse, Parker put on his Spider-Man wrestling costume and easily captured him, only to discover that it was the same thief who had robbed the Bridgeport wrestling event on October 26 – and Peter could have caught him then. It was at this point that Peter realized the truth of what his Uncle Ben had once told him: “With great power comes great responsibility.” He then decided to use his powers to become a superhero.

On Friday, December 14, NASA’s Mariner 2 spacecraft became Earth’s first successful interplanetary mission, passing within 35,000 km of the surface of Venus. Its sensors confirmed previous Earth-based measurements that the planet’s surface was extremely hot and unable to support life.

1963

The CIA announced that its Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) was being dissolved and incorporated into the newly renamed Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T). In reality, the core of the OSI was transferred to a new, ultra-secret government agency called the Department of External Services (DXS). There, it was given greater autonomy to focus on scientific issues of national security. Many top scientists were recruited into the new OSI, including Dr. Michael Martin, former science director for the U.S. Air Force Special Weapons Program, who was put in charge of the top-secret radiation research and testing center at the government’s Nevada Test Site.

From his home on Elm Street, serial killer Freddy Krueger (b. 1931) began murdering children in Springfield, Ohio. [A Nightmare on Elm Street]

January 1963

Oliver Queen (age 21) helped Roy Harper (age 14) locate his nearest living relative, Jim Harper (formerly the masked crime fighter known as “The Guardian”), who was living in San Francisco. Jim was dying of cancer and unable to take Roy in, and so Oliver adopted him with Jim’s blessing.

Having returned to the United States, the new Catman (Thomas Reese Blake) began his criminal career.

February 1963

While piloting a test plane, Larry Trainor was exposed to radiation and transformed into “Negative Man.”

March 1963

In New York, Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 16) met the Fantastic Four for the first time.

While in southeast Asia supervising a field test for one of the weapons systems he hoped to sell to the U.S. military for the Vietnam conflict, Tony Stark tripped a booby trap and a piece of shrapnel was lodged in his chest. He was captured by the revolutionary leader Wong-Chu, who informed him that the shrapnel would penetrate his heart and kill him within a week unless it was removed. Wong-Chu offered Stark to save his life if Stark would first build him a powerful weapon. Stark knew this was a lie, but agreed in order to buy himself time and access to tools. Working with fellow prisoner, physicist Ho Yinsen, Stark built a prototype, electrically-powered suit of weaponized armor. The suit was powered by an electric generator and also contained a magnetic pacemaker that prevented the shrapnel from reaching his heart. While the men were waiting for the armor to charge, Wong-Chu sensed something was wrong and came to investigate. Yinsen confronted Wong-Chu and his men, distracting them long enough for the armor to finish charging but losing his life in the process. Stark then emerged in his fully-charged armor, avenged Yinsen’s death, scattered Wong-Chu’s men and escaped into the jungle. When he returned to the U.S., he decided that Yinsen’s sacrifice would not be in vain. After redesigning and improving the mechanical suit, he continued to fight terrorists and criminals as “Iron Man” (while publicly claiming that Iron Man was his bodyguard in a special suit he had designed).

Alcatraz Island prison in San Francisco was closed.

While being transported to his execution, Dr. Richard Kimble’s train was derailed and he escaped. As a fugitive, he began searching for evidence of the one-armed man who had actually killed his wife Helen.

April 1963

In New York, teenager Peter Parker began earning extra money as a freelance photographer by supplying snapshots of Spider-Man and his foes to New York Post news editor J. Jonah Jameson, Jr. (who was unaware that Parker himself was secretly Spider-Man).

May 1963

Matt Murdock and Franklin “Foggy” Nelson (both age 25) graduated from Harvard Law School and decided to open their own law firm together in Manhattan’s “Hell’s Kitchen” neighborhood.

New York University biochemistry professor Theodore “Ted” Sallis (b. 1924) was honored as the annual Christian A. Herter Lecturer by NYU’s Biochemistry Department, giving a lecture on pathology. All record of his lecture was later erased by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents due to fears that it could be used to replicate the formula that would eventually turn Sallis into the Man-Thing.

June 1963

The “Mad Thinker” (real name unknown, b. 1946), a mutant (Homo sapiens superior) criminal mastermind with the ability to create complex machinery and control it with his mind, debuted in New York City. At this time, the Mad Thinker was only 17 years old, but appeared much older and with somewhat unusual features due to his mutation. He was accompanied by a robot of his creation, “Andy” the Awesome Android, with whom he committed crimes across the city until stopped by the Fantastic Four.

Wheelchair-bound Dr. Niles Caulder (a.k.a. “The Chief”) put together a team of super-powered outcast adventurers called “The Doom Patrol,” operating out of Detroit, Michigan. The original team members were Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr), Negative Man (Larry Trainor) and Robotman (Cliff Steele).

Dr. Henry Pym (Ant-Man) helped socialite Janet Van Dyne (b. 1938) find and defeat the alien killer who murdered her father, scientist Vernon Van Dyne. In the process, Pym revealed to her his secret identity and helped Janet assume a costumed identity of her own. Using Pym Particles, they grafted wasp-like wings beneath her shoulders, which appeared whenever she would shrink. Janet would assume the alias “Wasp” and become Pym’s crime-fighting partner and eventually his love interest.

A radiation accident at the Western New York Nuclear Research Center in Buffalo, New York, left Dr. Otto Octavius (age 41) hospitalized. When he awoke, he found that he could telepathically control the four mechanical, tentacle-like prostheses he had been using in his research. The accident had also left him mentally unbalanced and maniacal, causing him to become the super-villain “Doctor Octopus.”

Dr. Simon Hurt first crossed paths with Batman and Robin.

On Sunday, June 16, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first confirmed human woman in space (Susan Storm’s earlier trip having been classified and unverified).

July 1963

After eight years of rigorous instruction from the Ancient One, Dr. Stephen Strange (age 51) debuted as the sorcerer “Doctor Strange” in New York City.

British secret agent James Bond had his next encounter with SPECTRE in Turkey as they tried to exact revenge on him for killing their operative Dr. Julius No.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker) first encountered Doctor Octopus (Dr. Otto Octavius).

August 1963

When a band of criminals trapped the Justice League of America in their own headquarters, some of the surviving members of the defunct Justice Society of America reunited to free them and help stop the villains. Coming out of retirement were: The Atom (Al Pratt, age 43), Black Canary (Dinah Drake Lance, age 36), Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson, age 57), The Flash (Jay Garrick, age 45), Green Lantern (Alan Scott, age 47) and Hourman (Rex Tyler, age 50).

In Boston, Bat-Woman (Kathy Kane) tricked Catman (Thomas Blake) into killing himself and expending one of his nine lives. Weakened as he recovered, Blake was forced to turn himself into the police.

After escaping from Riker’s Island prison, William Baker (a.k.a. Flint Marko) made his way south to Georgia. There, on a restricted beach outside of Savannah, he encountered radioactive sand that bonded with him and gave him sand-based powers. Calling himself the “Sandman,” he headed back toward New York City to resume his criminal career using his new powers.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28 during a civil rights march in Washington, D.C.

September 1963

Using an illusion, Loki tricked the Hulk into destroying a railroad track. When Rick Jones sent out a radio call to the Fantastic Four, Loki diverted the distress signal to Thor (whom Loki hoped would battle the Hulk). Unknown to Loki, Ant-Man, Wasp and Iron Man also answered the radio call. After an initial misunderstanding, the heroes united and defeated Loki. Realizing that they worked well together, they decided to form a combined team. Wasp named the group “The Avengers.”

Nick Carter had his first major adventure as agent N3 of the top-secret government agency AXE, preventing the sinister Mr. Judas from assassinating U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

The criminal Eobard Thawne (age 24), also known as “Professor Zoom,” traveled from his own universe (Earth-Hexa), where it was the year 2488, to our own to battle The Flash (Barry Allen).

After aiding Tony Stark when he witnessed him crash an experimental car, former professional boxer Harold Joseph “Happy” Hogan (b. 1936) accepted a job as Stark’s personal limo driver, bodyguard and personal assistant. Stark was also impressed that month by Virginia “Pepper” Potts (b. 1943), a secretary at Stark Enterprises who caught an accounting mistake that he made. Both Hogan and Potts would be among Stark’s most trusted employees in the years to follow.

Charles Xavier (a.k.a. “Professor X,” b. 1930) organized his first team of mutant superheroes, known as the “X-Men,” at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters near Salem Center in Westchester County, New York. The five founding members were: Warren Worthington III (alias “Angel,” b. 1947), Henry “Hank” McCoy (alias “Beast,” b. 1946), Scott Summers (alias “Cyclops,” b. 1947), Robert “Bobby” Drake (alias “Iceman,” b. 1948) and Jean Grey (alias “Marvel Girl,” b. 1947). Their first challenge was going up against a former ally of Xavier’s named “Magneto” (b. 1928 as Max Eisenhardt), the mutant master of magnetism.

The Fantastic Four first encountered Kl’rt, a “Super-Skrull” warrior who had undergone a radical experimental procedure on the Skrull throneworld of Tarnax IV in order to give him the abilities of all four members of the Fantastic Four.

The criminal known as “Sandman” (William Baker) first clashed with Spider-Man.

On the planet Tamaran in the Vegan star system (25 light years from Earth), the second daughter of the royal family was born, Princess Koriand’r. Because her sister’s birth (two Earth years earlier) had led to disaster, Koriand’r’s birth was a quiet affair. Nevertheless, she became the new heir to the throne, and her older sister, Princess Komand’r, grew jealous.

October 1963

Aging boxer “Battlin’ Jack” Murdock (age 43) was pressured into fighting one last fight before retiring. The mobsters who arranged the fight for him tried to fix the fight and told him to lose, but Murdock refused to take a dive with his son Matt (age 25) in the audience, so he won the fight against their wishes. Soon after the fight ended, Battlin’ Jack was found murdered in the alley. Matt, a recent law school graduate, swore to bring the killers to justice.

Jim Harper (formerly The Guardian) died of cancer in San Francisco.

A criminal named Leron seized control of the the watery pocket dimension known as Xebel, deposing the reigning queen, Mera. Exiled, Mera managed to flee to Earth’s dimension where her people had originated in Atlantis a generation prior. There, she enlisted the aid of the Atlantean hero Aquaman. After defeating Leron, Mera  and Aquaman became involved romantically and would visit each other frequently over the coming months.

Tony Stark (Iron Man’s secret identity) donated a mansion in New York to serve as headquarters for the Avengers, and asked Edwin Jarvis (b. 1922) to manage the high-tech building. (Jarvis’ official title was “butler,” but having been a boxer and served in the British RAF in World War II, he was someone that Stark trusted on multiple levels.) He also donated a five-engine “Quinjet” for the team’s transportation.

Studying the Iron Man mechanized armor and combining it with Soviet technology, Armenian scientist Professor Anton Vanko (b. 1924) had invented the “Crimson Dynamo” prototype armor for the USSR. After getting a demonstration of its power in early October, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev (age 69) personally challenged Vanko to use the armor to defeat Iron Man. Two weeks later, Vanko confronted Iron Man in the U.S., but was defeated. Fearing that Khrushchev would have him killed, Vanko then decided to defect to the United States and work for Tony Stark. [Tales of Suspense #46]

The Fantastic Four received a strange transmission in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics from the “Time Platform” they had captured from Doctor Doom. After decoding it, they learned that it told the story of a pharaoh they had never heard of called Rama-Tut, and a cure for blindness that might work for their friend Alicia Masters. They then used the Time Platform to travel to the alternate dimension of Earth-E where it was the year 2929 BCE. There, they encountered Kang the Conqueror, who had conquered the known world as Rama-Tut. Kang had tricked them into traveling to him so that he could gain the supplies needed to repair his ship and leave the Earth-E dimension where he had been trapped for many years. The Fantastic Four returned home without the cure for Alicia Masters they had sought. Kang, meanwhile, traveled to the Earth-Bravo universe where he still had an army of robots loyal to him. There, he repaired his technology and prepared to conquer our own Earth.

On October 10, a  partial nuclear test-ban treaty went into effect between the governments of the Soviet Union, United Kingdom and United States. It prohibited the test detonation of nuclear weapons except underground, and was designed to slow the nuclear arms race.

On Halloween, Thursday, October 31, six-year-old Michael Myers (b. 1957) murdered his 17-year-old sister Judith (b. 1945) in Haddonfield, Illinois. The troubled youth would spend the next 15 years institutionalized.

November 1963

With the growing threat of an international terror organization known as THRUSH, the U.S., Russia, England, The Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia sponsor a secret United Nations resolution to establish an independent, global counterterrorism agency known as the United Nations Command for Law and Enforcement (or U.N.C.L.E.) to be headquartered in New York.

The Jaguar (Ralph Hardy) was killed by vengeful agents of the Jaguar God of Peru, who came to claim the enchanted belt he had stolen from their sacred temple.

Dr. Henry Pym discovered how to increase size and mass using Pym Particles as opposed to shrinking, and changed his superhero alias from “Ant-Man” to the 12-foot-tall “Giant-Man.” However, Pym soon found that growing in size to become Giant-Man was extremely physically draining.

The Hulk quit the Avengers after realizing how much his teammates feared his unstable personality.

John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Friday, November 22. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (b. 1908, d. 1973) was sworn in as the 36th U.S. President (1963-1969) aboard Air Force One.

December 1963

In London, England, retired private investigator Sexton Blake died of natural causes at age 90. His grandson, Sexton Blake III (age 36), continued to run his own successful detective business.

In Bulgaria, Magneto saved a young mutant (Homo sapiens superior) named Wanda Maximoff (b. 1947) from an angry mob that wanted to kill her for burning down a barn with her mutant powers. In Magneto’s debt, Wanda and her twin brother Petro, also a mutant, joined his “Brotherhood of Mutants,” although they soon began to have doubts about their place on the team. Unknown to any of them, Wanda and Pietro were actually Magneto’s own long-lost children.

From their undersea kingdom in Mu, the Gortokian Deviants decided to conquer the Earth. After attacks on Hong Kong and Tokyo, they were stopped by the Gotengo, a super-submarine warship designed by Captain Jinguji, who had served as a Japanese naval officer in World War II. Jinguji had built the warship so that Japan could conquer the world, but was ultimately persuaded to use it to defend the world from the Gortokian threat instead. In the end, a great earthquake destroyed the undersea city and all of the Gortokians were lost except one, Prince Gor-Tok of the ruling family. The prince was exposed to enormous amounts of radiation, however, causing him to mutate and lose his memory. [Atragon, with some elements tying it to plotlines from Marvel Comics.]

1964

Having gathered an army during his travels of through the galaxy, Thanos returned to his home on Saturn’s moon Titan and attacked his people with nuclear weapons. Many of the Eternals died in the attack, including Thanos’ mother Sui-San, and Thanos established himself as Titan’s new ruler.

Logan managed to escape from the mind-control of Team X. He then joined the Canadian Defence Ministry.

The sentient bacteria that Herbert Wyndham (The High Evolutionary) had accidentally created discovered that it was able to possess and control some humans, but not mutants (the sub-species Homo sapiens superior). It determined that it would study mutants in greater detail, with the goal of eventually exterminating them to further its own ends. It possessed the body of a young genetics student from Oxford named John Sublime (age 20), who had received a summer internship at the Muir Island Mutant Research Center in Scotland. Over the next several years, he would travel the world, furthering his research to gain mastery of human and mutant genetic manipulation.

January 1964

While attempting to locate and contain the Hulk, the Avengers encountered Namor in the North Pacific. During a violent confrontation, Namor accidentally discovered the frozen body of Captain America, perfectly preserved in ice since 1945. The Avengers brought his body back to their New York City headquarters.

While on assignment in Cambodia, the Suicide Squad was chased across an ice bridge by a yeti. Rick Flag (age 32) and Dr. Karin Grace (age 33) barely made it to the other side before the bridge collapsed carrying the yeti and the other two members of the team to their apparent deaths. Dr. Hugh Evans (age 39) was killed in the fall, but Jess Bright (age 29) survived. Buried in the ice, Bright was eventually rescued and captured by Chinese troops, who mistook him for a Russian soldier and traded him to the Soviet Union. The Soviets would rebuild him into a cyborg and rename him “Koshchei the Deathless.” Meanwhile, Dr. Grace retired after the trauma of losing two of her teammates, and the U.S. Agency of Exceptional Engagements (AXE) decided to disband the Suicide Squad. Rick Flag would spend the next several years working as a spy, both for AXE (later S.H.I.E.L.D.) and on a “for hire” basis.

Mutant master of electricity Maxwell Dillon (b. 1936) began his criminal career as “Elelctro” in New York City, but was quickly stopped by Spider-Man.

Soon afterward, Electro was contacted by Doctor Octopus, who had been gathering together every enemy of Spider-Man that he could find. Electro became the final member of the “Sinister Six,” which also included Vulture, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio and Sandman. However, the villains made the tactical error of confronting Spider-Man one at a time instead of as a true team, and they were defeated.

February 1964

The Avengers were astonished to discover that Captain America was not only perfectly preserved in ice, but the super-soldier serum in his system had kept him alive in suspended animation. After a short while, he revived and joined their team. He was given “founding member” status.

Iron Man (Tony Stark) first encountered the supervillain known as “The Mandarin.”

While researching his lineage, Professor Nathan Garrett (b. 1932) discovered the enchanted Ebony Blade that had belonged to his ancestor, the sixth century Knight of the Round Table, Sir Percy of Scandia. Using its magic, he became the villainous Black Knight.

Odin realized that his son Thor had fallen in love with the human nurse Jane Foster (b. 1944). He ordered him to return to Asgard, but Thor refused. He had grown so attached to Foster and his new home on Earth that he had formed a mental block and was unable to see past the false-identity of Donald Blake even when Odin released him from it.

Simon Williams inherited Williams Innovations, a weapons manufacturer, after the death of his father, wealthy industrialist Sanford Williams. However, the profits immediately started to fall due to lack of investor confidence and competition from its biggest competitor, Tony Stark.

On Sunday, February 9, British rock-and-roll band The Beatles made their first, historic live U.S. television performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

March 1964

Cooperating with the U.S. government’s top-secret Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), Captain America underwent a full physical and tissue sample analysis, which certified that he had suffered no ill, long-term effects from extended cryostasis. Secretly, the OSI would use those tissue samples to create clones of Captain America, which they would keep in a vegetative state as test subjects for the next 20 years while they tried to recreate the Super Soldier Serum as part of “Project Gladiator.”

Magneto’s “Brotherhood of Mutants” had its first confrontation with Charles Xavier’s X-Men (who called them the “Brotherhood of Evil Mutants”). In addition to Magneto (Max Eisenhardt, age 36), the founding members of the Brotherhood included Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde, age 39), Toad (Mortimer Toynbee, age 18), and the twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, both age 17).

Batman’s dog Ace died at the age of 11.

Ebenezer Laughton debuted as the second villain known as “The Scarecrow.”

On March 8, Malcom X (age 38) announced a split from the Nation of Islam. His new direction would soon find him becoming a Sunni Muslim and founding a human rights organization.

On March 27, the area near Anchorage, Alaska was hit by the magnitude 9.2 “Good Friday Earthquake.” The second-largest quake ever recorded, it killed at least 115 people and caused $311 million in property damage (in 1964 dollars) from Alaska to California. Resulting tsunamis from the quake caused further damage as far away as Hawaii and Japan.

One tsunami resulting from the Good Friday Earthquake caused extensive damage to the Aleutian Island secret headquarters of the Blackhawk Squadron, including the loss of several aircraft stationed there. Already facing funding shortfalls and pressures from the United Nations Security Council, the team decided to retire rather than rebuild. Dating back to World War II, they had flown together defending the world for 23 years.

April 1964

Odin sent the Asgardian Amora the Enchatress and her henchman Skurge the Executioner to eliminate Thor’s human love interest, Jane Foster (age 20). [Journey into Mystery #103] The two failed at their mission and were banished to Earth by the All-Father.

J’onn  J’onzz (The Martian Manhunter) abandoned his civilian identity of Denver police detective John Jones. He began using a new human persona, Marco Xavier.

Soviet spy Natalia Romanova (age 25) was sent on her first undercover mission to the U.S., assigned to assist Boris Turgenov (age 30) in the assassination of Professor Anton Vanko (age 40) for defecting from the Soviet Union. The pair managed to infiltrate Stark Industries as part of the plan, but there they were confronted by Iron Man (Tony Stark, age 24). Turgenov stole the Crimson Dynamo mechanized armor and used it to kill Vanko, but was himself killed by Vanko. Romanova escaped. [Tales of Suspense #52]

Frustrated by his inability to use the law to bring his father’s killers to justice, blind lawyer Matt Murdock (age 26) decided to use his heightened senses and reflexes to become a costumed vigilante. Fashioning a red, yellow and black costume in part from his father’s old boxing outfits, he became “Daredevil” and swore to defend Hell’s Kitchen from crime.

On April 22, the New York World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows, Queens. It ran for two six-month seasons, April–October 1964 and 1965. Hailing itself as a “universal and international” exposition, the fair's theme was “Peace through Understanding,” dedicated to “Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe.” The theme was symbolized by a 12-story high, stainless-steel model of the earth called the Unisphere. The fair is best remembered as a showcase of mid-20th-century American culture and technology. The nascent Space Age, with its vista of promise, was well represented. More than 51 million people attended the fair, making it a touchstone for New York–area Baby Boomers, who visited the optimistic fair as children. In many ways the fair symbolized a grand consumer show covering many products produced in America at the time for transportation, living, and consumer electronic needs in a way that would never be repeated at future world's fairs in North America. Most American companies from pen manufacturers to auto companies had a major presence. Many corporations demonstrated the use of mainframe computers, computer terminals with keyboards and CRT displays, Teletype machines, punch cards, and telephone modems in an era when computer equipment was kept in back offices away from the public, decades before the Internet and home computers were at everyone's disposal.

May 1964

Just like President Truman before him, President Johnson realized that the nation needed a first-response team for “serious threats of an unconventional nature.” To fill the gap left by the dissolution of the Suicide Squad, a joint military initiative was put in place to actively identify and train those soldiers from across all  branches of the armed services who could best respond to such threats. Codenamed the “G.I. Joe Action Team,” this loosely organized squad would be active 1964-1976 and reported to the newly established Department of External Services (DXS).

Ralph Dibny (a.k.a. Elongated Man, age 24) and his wife Sue (age 22) embarked on an open-ended “tour of America.” They soon found themselves solving mysteries at various stops along the way.

Johnny Storm (The Human Torch, age 18) graduated from high school. Although he had good enough grades, he was not sure he wanted to go to college, and decided to take a year off to focus on his work with the Fantastic Four.

June 1964

As Kathy Kane Grayson (age 30) took a more active role in Wayne Enterprises and resumed fighting by her husband’s side as Bat-Woman, she asked her recently widowed aunt, Harriet Cooper (b. 1904), to move into Wayne Manor and help raise the Grayson’s one-year-old son, Dick Jr.

Now age 43 and working as an archeologist at a museum in St. Louis, Dan Garret (age 43) decided to again take up the mantle of The Blue Beetle.

Dr. Henry Dodd and his family were finally able to leave “Monster Island” (Caprona). They soon returned to visit their friend Kona, who agreed to accompany them to see the rest of the world.

A son, Norda Cantrell, was born to human anthropologist Fred Cantrell (age 36) and the Bird Woman Osoro (age 25) in the Bird People’s hidden city of Feithera in northern Greenland.

July 1964

Industrialist Norman Osborn (b. 1924), the head of Oscorp, took a serum which enhanced his physical abilities and intellect but also drove him to insanity. He adopted a Halloween-themed appearance, dressing in a goblin costume, riding on a bat-shaped “Goblin Glider” and using an arsenal of high-tech weapons, notably grenade-like “Pumpkin Bombs,” to terrorize New York City as “The Green Goblin.”

The (original) Teen Titans team was formed by Robin (Bruce Thomas Wayne, age 18), Kid Flash (Wally West, age 13), Aqualad (Garth, age 12) and Speedy (Roy Harper, Jr., age 15) in Boston, Massachusetts. This incarnation of the team would remain active in some form or another until 1978.

On July 2, President Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act into law, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and generally ending unequal voter registration requirements and racial segregation.

On Thursday, July 16, 15-year-old James Powell was shot and killed by police Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in front of his friends and about a dozen other witnesses. The incident immediately rallied about 300 students from a nearby school who were informed by the principal. This incident set off six consecutive nights of rioting by approximately 4,000 New Yorkers, leading to attacks on the New York City Police Department, vandalism and looting in stores. At the end of the conflict, reports counted one dead rioter, 500 injured and 465 arrested. The Harlem Race Riot sparked a series of riots that continued throughout July and August in cities such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Rochester, New York; Chicago, Illinois; and Jersey City, Paterson and Elizabeth, New Jersey.

August 1964

In a parallel universe sometimes designated “Earth-Three” good and evil were reversed and the Crime Syndicate of America ruled the world. Five of its most powerful members (Johnny Quick, Owl Man, Power Ring, Super Woman and Ultraman) traveled to our universe and captured their doppelgangers from our universe (The Flash, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Superman, respectively). However, the Thanagarian superhero Hawkman (Katar Hol, age 64 in Earth years or 30 in Thanagarian ones) discovered that they were missing and contacted the retired sorcerer Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson, age 58). Together with Nelson’s former Justice Society colleagues Black Canary (Dinah Drake Lance, age 37), Doctor Mid-Nite (Charles McNider, age 53) and Starman (Ted Knight, age 48), they traveled to Earth-Three and rescued their friends. [Justice League of America #29, told from a Post-Crisis perspective]

Sergei Kravinoff, also known as “Kraven the Hunter,” came to New York seeking to hunt Spider-Man in order to find a challenge worth living for.

On August 2, the USS Maddox, a U.S. destroyer, clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft in what came to be known as the “Gulf of Tonkin incident.” In response, the U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution on August 7, giving the President the authority to increase U.S. military presence in Vietnam. This resolution would be used as the justification for the U.S. to mount full-scale war efforts in Vietnam, despite the fact that the U.S. Congress never formally declared war.

September 1964

British secret agent James Bond encountered bullion dealer Auric Goldfinger and prevented him from detonating an atomic device at Fort Knox in the U.S.

Kang (Nathaniel Richards of Earth-M, age 53), a futuristic conqueror who could travel between parallel universes, ventured to our reality to try to conquer our Earth. He was defeated by The Avengers and forced to retreat back to his home, the 40th century “Earth-Bravo” universe.

Soviet spy Natalia Romanova met the criminal known as Hawkeye (Clint Barton) and recruited him to help her against Iron Man.

Bruce Thomas Wayne (Robin, age 18) began his undergraduate studies at M.I.T.

The two-man troubleshooting team of American Napoleon Solo and Russian Illya Kuryakin began making inroads for U.N.C.L.E. against the global terrorist organization THRUSH (which they later learned was one of many fronts for Hydra).

October 1964

On the advice of his brother Eric, Simon Williams tried to embezzle funds from his arms company Williams Innovations, but was caught and incarcerated. Simon blamed his competitor Tony Stark, who he believed engaged in unfair trade practices, for his situation. After paying his bail, the villains Baron Heinrich Zemo and the Enchantress offered to imbue Williams with super powers in order to infiltrate the Avengers and get back at Stark. Williams accepted and underwent the experimental ion-powered treatment. He gained exceptional strength and durability, but his transformation was unstable, requiring periodic injections of a serum that only Zemo could provide. Under these conditions, he applied for Avengers membership as Wonder Man, secretly promising Zemo that he would betray them at a crucial moment to aid Zemo’s plans. However, when the Avengers were lured into Zemo’s trap, Wonder Man changed his mind and decided to save his new teammates, apparently at the cost of his own life. Without Zemo’s serum to revive him, he remained in a catatonic state for years. However, during this time, his body was merely adjusting to his new biology and he would eventually revive on his own in 1976. In the meantime, feeling guilty over what had happened, Tony Stark would make an imprint of Williams’ brain wave patterns, hoping that he could decipher the problem and restore Williams in some way.

In Indianapolis, Thomas Troy died in a car accident. The magic ring that allowed him to become “The Fly” was buried with him.

Adam Strange (age 30) of Earth was able to travel to the planet Rann in the Alpha Centauri system by a means other than a Zeta Beam, and was therefore able to stay there permanently without the need to return to Earth.

In New York City, Daredevil (Matt Murdock, age 26) first encountered the Purple Man (Dr. Zebediah Killgrave, age 34). [Daredevil #4]

At the age of only 13, Zatanna Zatara (b. May 20, 1951) began discovering her magical abilities while searching for her missing father, Giovanni “John” Zatara (age 49).

On October 14, Leonid Brezhnev (b. 1906) became the new head of the Soviet Union (1964-1982).

November 1964

After being arrested for rape, Albert DeSalvo confessed to committing 13 murders as the Boston Strangler.

In Boston, the criminal formerly known as the Scarecrow (Dr. Jonathan Crane, age 60) was released from prison after serving more than 20 years. Soon afterward, he contacted his nephew, college student Michael Johnathan Crane (b. 1944), and began educating him in the “science of fear.”

caught by Batman (Bruce Anthony Wayne, age 27) and sent to prison, where he would stay for over 20 years.

December 1964

In the undersea Atlantean city of Poseidonis, king Juvor died. With no direct heir, there was much debate over his succession. Finally, Arthur Curry (Aquaman) was recognized as the son of the late Princess Atlanna, making him the grandson of Juvor and rightful heir to the throne. Arthur immediately asked Mera to become his queen, and she agreed, abdicating the throne of Xebel to join him in Atlantis.

1965

The floundering San Francisco Call and San Francisco Daily Planet newspapers merged with The San Francisco Examiner. Longtime Daily Planet editor Perry White (age 63) retired, but fought to keep jobs for some of his top staff at the Examiner, including White’s son and junior editor Perry Jr. (age 24), Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Lois Lane Kent (age 48), her husband and fellow reporter Clark Kent (age 45), and photographer James “Jimmy” Olsen (age 25). The consolidations left only two remaining newspapers in San Francisco, the Chronicle and the Examiner, and they began operating under a joint agreement.

Mandrake the Magician moved into a new home in the Catskill Mountains known as “Xanadu.” At this time, his longtime traveling companion Lothar, Prince of Seven Nations, retired at age 52 and his son Lothar, Jr. (age 19) began traveling with Mandrake.

The Monitor, the living embodiment of the Multiverse, rescued an orphaned girl named Lyla from a wrecked spacecraft from a dying universe. She would become his apprentice, “Harbinger.”

January 1965

Adventurer Rex Mason (b. February 9, 1938) was hired by Simon Stagg (b. 1917), CEO if Stagg Enterprises, to retrieve a rare Egyptian artifact, the Orb of Ra. Shortly after hiring him, Stagg learned that Mason was his daughter, Sapphire Stagg (b. 1942). Stagg began to harbor an intense dislike for Mason and decided to arrange an accident that would kill him. After retrieving the Orb of Ra in Egypt, Stagg’s bodyguard, Java, knocked Mason out and left him to die, sealing him into the pyramid. However, the Orb that Java took had merely been a decoy. Within the pyramid, the true Orb alerted its master, the Egyptian god Ammon-Ra, of the presence of Rex Mason. Ammon-Ra then caused the Orb to flare, and its radiation transformed Mason into One of Ammon-Ra’s metamorphae, elemental warriors to serve him in his never-ending battle against his enemy, the evil god Apep. Awaking to find himself virtually invulnerable, no longer made of flesh-and-bone and able to transmute himself into any element or combination of elements found in the human body, Mason was able to use his new powers to escape the pyramid. Seeing his new condition as a curse, Mason at first sought a cure, but eventually learned to use his powers for justice using the name “Metamorpho, the Element Man.”

On January 15, the Soviet Union conducted significant above-ground nuclear weapons tests at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Chagan, violating the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963. The charge was powerful enough that some fallout rained upon Japan, and both Japan and the United States complained, but the complaints were eventually dropped, and the problem was ignored by the foreign governments.

February 1965

The teenager from Baltimore named David (age 16), who had been held prisoner by fugitive Atlanteans from Xebel, managed to kill his captors and steal their submersible ship, filled with various Xebel weapons and technologies. Having grown to hate the emotionless sea and the Atlanteans whom he saw as their representatives, David determined to become its master. Taking the name “Black Manta,” he began plotting against King Arthur of Atlantis (a.k.a. Aquaman, age 24).

S’Yan the Swift (age 40) retired as “Black Panther,” leader of Wakanda, a secret, technologically advanced nation hidden for millennia along the banks of the Omo River in southern Ethiopia. As expected, his nephew T’Challa (b. February 1944), easily won the contest to succeed him as the new Black Panther. The new king ate of the sacred Heart-Shaped Herb, lethal to all except members of the royal family, and was imbued by it with extraordinary reflexes and stamina. S’Yan became head of his council of advisors.

On February 21, former Nation of Islam civil rights activist Malcom X (a.k.a. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, age 39) was assassinated while preparing to deliver a speech in Manhattan.

March 1965

The X-Men traveled to “The Savage Land,” an area in Antarctica where prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs still roamed. There, they met Ka-Zar (b. 1947).

On March 8, with U.S. public opinion overwhelmingly supporting the deployment, 3,500 U.S. Marines were dispatched to South Vietnam. This marked the beginning of the American ground war. By December, the number of Marines would grow to nearly 200,000.

April 1965

Giant-Man (Hank Pym) and Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) left The Avengers, although each would continue to return to active duty with the team off-and-on again over the years.

Natalia Romanova (age 26) and Clint Barton (a.k.a. Hawkeye) almost succeeded in defeating Iron Man (Tony Stark), but when Romanova was injured, Barton retreated to move her to safety.

In the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, Daredevil (Matt Murdock, age 27) began wearing an all-red costume.

A series of skirmishes began between India and Pakistan that would end with a 17-day war in September.

May 1965

Natalia Romanova decided to defect from the Soviet Union, but when she failed to follow her mission directive, the KGB had her gunned down, sending her to the hospital. This convinced Clint Barton (Hawkeye) to go straight, and he went to The Avengers for help.

By the end of the month, every member of the Avengers had taken a leave of absence from the team for their own reasons, except for Captain America. (For example, Thor took an extended leave to focus on matters in Asgard.) Captain America then recruited three former villains to round out the new Avengers roster: Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

The covert U.S. Agency of Exceptional Engagements (AXE) was replaced by S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate). Rick Stoner was chosen to head the new organization.

June 1965

The spacecraft of the Eternal known as Thanos landed on Earth in a remote area of the Nevada desert. In order to eliminate any witnesses to his arrival, Thanos destroyed the car of the only family within viewing range. The father (Arthur Douglas, b. 1936) and mother (Yvette Steckley Douglas, b. 1937) were killed, but the young daughter (Heather Douglas, b. 1956) miraculously survived the explosion and was discovered, dazed, by Thanos’ father, Mentor, who had been tracking him. Mentor took the girl back to Titan with him and raised her among the surviving Eternals.

Days later, the ancient Eternal known as Kronos, who had also been tracking Thanos, discovered the bodies of Arthur and Yvette. Using advanced technology, he made a copy of Arthur’s brain patterns, and later transferred his memories into a new alien body. Kronos had intended to interview the victim in order to discover clues as to Thanos’ activities and whereabouts. Arthur was unable to provide much detail, but he clung to the new opportunity at life. Renaming himself Drax the Destroyer, he set himself on a single-minded purpose of avenging the death of his family.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Thanos established a secret base in the desert. From there, he and his minions began searching for the Cosmic Cube and planning the eventual conquest of Earth.

On Sunday, June 27, King Arthur Curry of Atlantis (Aquaman) married Princess Mera of Xebel. [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

July 1965

At age 14, Princess Troia of Themyscira snuck away from her mother and followed her older sister Wonder Woman (Diana) to America. There, she took the civilian name “Donna Troy” and joined the Teen Titans as the crime fighter “Wonder Girl.”

Charles Xavier encountered his stepbrother Cain Marko for the first time since Marko’s 1953 transformation into “The Juggernaut.”

On Wednesday, July 14, NASA’s Mariner 14 spacecraft flew by Mars, providing the first images of another planet. The limited data showed Mars to be more inhospitable to life than previously imagined. Indeed, with no running Air Factories on the surface, Martian society by this point was limited to a few self-contained settlements.

August 1965

Rick Stoner, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., was assassinated by agents of Hydra. He was replaced as Executive Director by Nick Fury.

Thaddeus “Tad” Bach of Earth (age 29) was selected as an “Eidolon Elite” officer in the galactic police force known as the Darkstars, As such, he was told that he was now privy to classified information and ready to become part of an undercover task force known as “Wraith.” However, Bach quickly discovered that Wraith was corrupt. When he questioned their actions, his family was murdered and he was left for dead upon an abandoned planet. There, Bach was found by a lone survivor, an engineer named Salomon who had designed the weapons of mass destruction that had led to the extinction of his planet.

September 1965

With the 1965 fall season, the major U.S. television networks began broadcasting primarily in color instead of black-and-white, greatly increasing the sale of color televisions.

After earning a full-ride science scholarship, Peter Parker (Spider-Man, age 18) began attending New York University. There, he met his roommate and eventual best friend Harry Osborn (son of industrialist Norman Osborn, the future Green Goblin). He also met Gwen Stacy (daughter of police Captain George Stacy), who would later become his girlfriend.

After taking a year off after high school, Johnny Storm (The Human Torch, age 19) began taking classes at Long Island University in Brooklyn, just across the East River from Manhattan. During the school year, he would make the acquaintance of fellow freshman Wyatt Wingfoot (b. 1946), a Native American from Oklahoma, who would become his best friend outside the Fantastic Four.

While out hunting in the Adirondack Mountains, Bernhard “Buddy” Baker (b. 1946) discovered an alien spacecraft. After being bathed in a strange radiation from it, he soon discovered that he had somehow developed the ability to “borrow” abilities (flight, strength, etc.) from nearby animals.

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was fought September 6–23.

On September 14 (by Earth’s calendar), Adam Strange (age 31) wed his longtime love interest Alanna on the planet Rann. [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

October 1965

Harold “Happy” Hogan discovered that his employer Tony Stark was Iron Man.

While flying a covert mission over Communist China in a U-2 spy plane, CIA agent Matthew Gibbs was shot by a Chinese missile with a small nuclear explosive. He and his plane were vaporized. However, he found that his mind was not destroyed and that he had gained atomic superpowers. He re-formed his physical body and his plane by sheer force of will and flew back to the U.S. There, under the alias “Nukla,” he became an agent of the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI).

Sue Storm (The Invisible Girl) and Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) were married in a ceremony attended by many of the celebrities and superheroes of New York City.

November 1965

When agents of the villainous Warlord attacked the laboratory of U.N.C.L.E. scientist Emil Jennings, a strike force from the United Nations moved to drive them off. Jennings had already been killed, but they discovered several of his inventions—super weapons developed to aid the U.N. in defending against the growing threat of super-powered terrorism. These inventions were assigned to various U.N. agents as part of a new initiative designated T.H.U.N.D.E.R. (The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves). Leonard Brown was given the “Thunder Belt,” which imbued him with super strength and invulnerability for short periods of time, and was assigned the codename Dynamo. Meanwhile, John Janus was given a helmet that gave him mental powers, and was assigned the codename Menthor. Janus had actually been a double-agent for the Warlord, but upon putting on the helmet, he reassessed his motivations and turned to good. Brown and Janus were joined by Anthony Dunn, a scientist who had been dying and transferred his consciousness into an android body of his own design. With a wide number of these identical bodies, he could transfer his mind to any of them should something happen to the one he was in. He was given an invisibility cloak that Jennings designed and codenamed “NoMan.” Joining these super agents was the “T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad,” a special team of agents selected to address extraordinary threats such as those posed by the Warlord and his minions. This team included Virgil “Guy” Gilbert, “Dynamite” Daniel Adkins, William “Weed” Wylie, Kathryn “Kitten” Kane and James “Egghead” Andor.

In a debate with Professor Charles Xavier, Dr. Bolivar Trask revealed the existence of his new “Sentinel” robots, designed to protect humanity against what he saw as a threat to the species’ existence posed by mutantkind (Homo sapiens superior). Trask then activated the Sentinels, who promptly decided that the only way to protect humanity was to rule over it. Realizing his mistake, Trask helped Xavier’s students, the X-Men, destroy the Sentinels, but he was killed in the process. However, Trask’s son Larry and others like him would later develop several additional, increasingly sophisticated generations of Sentinel robots to address what they called the “mutant menace.”

Garfield “Gar” Logan (age 13), a green-skinned boy with the ability to shape-change into various animal forms, petitioned the Doom Patrol to be able to join their team. He would soon be dubbed “Beast Boy.”

In Boston, chemistry grad student Mark Desmond (b. 1937) performed experiments on himself, using a green substance high in gamma radiation to enhance his size and physical strength. As an unintended side-effect, he also became almost mindlessly aggressive. The mentally debilitated Desmond was cared for by his baby brother Roland (b. 1945), a local criminal, who kept their mother from discovering what Mark had done to himself. Calling Mark “Blockbuster,” Roland manipulated his brother into committing crimes. The two soon came into conflict with Batman and Robin.

Just after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9, a significant power outage occurred that affected parts of Ontario in Canada and Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont in the U.S. Over 30 million people were left without electricity for up to 13 hours.

December 1965

Near the Bahamas, British secret agent James Bond retrieved two stolen nuclear weapons to foil a SPECTRE extortion plan.

Johnny Storm (The Human Torch, age 20) encountered the Inhuman known as Crystal (Crystalia Amaquelin, age 18). Believing him to be an Inhuman, she brought him with her to the Inhuman sanctuary of Attilan where he met their ruler Black Bolt (age 34) and the rest of the royal family—including Crystal’s sister Medusa (Medusalith Amaquelin, age 30), a woman Johnny remembered as being a member of the Frightful Four. Believing himself to be in danger, he signaled the rest of the Fantastic Four. His teammates rescued him, but Johnny remained infatuated with Crystal.

On Thursday, December 9, after streaking across the sky as a fireball from Detroit to Pittsburgh, an acorn-shaped object the size of a small car crash-landed near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. The alien craft had what appeared to be hieroglyphic-type markings on it. It was quickly secured and removed by the “Men in Black.”

1966

Serial killer Freddy Krueger (age 35) was arrested for the murder of his wife and the suspected disappearance and murder of up to 20 children in Ohio. [A Nightmare on Elm Street]

The alien overlord Emperor Guillotine arrived on Earth and sank his spaceship to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. From this underwater base, he contacted his allies on Earth, the terrorist organization Hydra, and began preparing to conquer the planet. Hydra assigned a task force known as “Big Fire” to secretly began kidnapping scientists and creating robotic and kaiju weapons. [Giant Robo]

Department K was founded as a new secret branch of the Canadian Department of National Defence. The new Department’s mission was to monitor unusual scientific and environmental threats to the nation and to develop counteractive measures. From the start, one of its cornerstones was the “Weapon X” program to study the potential of weaponizing metahumans.

January 1966

Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) began working as a teaching assistant for Dr. Curt Connors (a.k.a. The Lizard) at New York University.

United Nations research scientist David Jones opened a secret undersea laboratory in Atlantis,

The appearance of the 10 m (33 ft) tall ancient creature “Gomess” began a long streak of frequent kaiju appearances in Japan. In response, the Japanese would form the Special Science Search Party (SSSP, commonly called the “Science Patrol”) as a small, independent division of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). Its mission was to monitor and act as a first-responder unit for kaiju and alien threats to the island nation.

After obtaining much of the debris from the Sentinel robots destroyed by the X-Men, the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) hired robotics expert Dr. James Bradley to head a new advanced robotics division at the OSI facility in Stockton, California (former site of their now-defunct space research division). Over the next decade, the OSI would develop several military robot prototypes based on the Sentinel technology, but every one of them would prove unstable and psychotic during field tests.

After suffering a serious injury, the villain known as the Black Knight (Nathan Garrett, age 33) died, leaving his ancestral home to his nephew, Dane Whitman (age 21).

February 1966

Using stolen research from Dr. Ray Palmer’s experiments, both the U.S. and Soviet governments had developed miniaturization technology. However, their processes were severely limited compared to those being used by Palmer and his colleague Dr. Henry Pym. Specifically, both government processes only worked for a limited time based on the ratio of miniaturization. Working behind the Iron Curtain, scientist Jan Benes reportedly figured out how to make the process work indefinitely. With the help of the CIA, he defected to the West, but an attempted assassination left him comatose with a clot in his brain. To save his life, he is brought to the headquarters of the Combined Miniature Deterrent Forces (CMDF), a newly formed branch of the Department of External Services (DXS). There, several agents and physicians were put aboard a special submarine known as the Proteus, and shrunk to miniature size, then injected into Dr. Benes’ body with one hour to remove the clot. Despite sabotage during the mission, they succeeded. However, brain damage left Dr. Benes unable to share his secrets with the CMDF.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. agent James “Egghead” Andor was killed in action.

Doctors tried to cure a desperately ill Harold “Happy” Hogan (age 29) with a cobalt ray machine powered by an experimental “Enervator” device designed by Tony Stark. While the procedure did indeed save him, it also mutated him into a giant, savage, superhumanly strong creature (which Stark and Hogan later referred to as “The Freak”). Stark was soon able to return Hogan to normal, but he would transform again on several more occasions, and the effects of the transformations left him sterile.

The Spectre, the spirit of vengeance, returned to Earth for the first time since 1945, bringing his human host Jim Corrigan with him (healed from his WWII wounds, but apparently un-aged since then). Over the next three decades, the Spectre would continue to periodically leave and then return to Earth, each time taking Corrigan with him.

On Thursday, February 3, the unmanned, Soviet-built Luna 9 became the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, and to transmit photographic data to Earth from the surface of another planetary body.

March 1966

Sharon Carter (b. 1946), the niece of Captain America’s former girlfriend Margaret “Peggy” Carter, debuted as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., codenamed “Agent 13.”

Sean Cassidy (age 25), an agent for INTERPOL in Ireland had not seen his wife or one-year-old daughter in weeks since beginning an undercover assignment. At 1:32 a.m. on March 8, while riding in a taxi to meet him, his wife Maeve Cassidy (age 25) was killed by shrapnel when a bomb planted by former Irish Republican Army volunteers destroyed the Dublin landmark known as Nelson’s Pillar. Not wanting to blow Sean’s cover, INTERPOL covered up the incident, reporting the bombing but not the victims. When Sean discovered what had happened, he quit INTERPOL in a rage, striking out at all those around him with his mutant (Homo sapiens superior) sonic scream powers. He had mistakenly believed that his daughter was in the taxi as well. However, his daughter had been in the care of his cousin, Tom Cassidy (age 23). When Tom tried to approach him, Sean lashed out at him as well, causing Tom to fall into a chasm and break his leg. Sean then went to America, determined to start a new life. Meanwhile, Tom decided that Sean didn’t deserve to know that his daughter Theresa was still alive, and that he would raise her himself.

On Saturday, March 26, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four began to notice strange disturbances, first in the form of a flame-like aurora in the cosmic energy field surrounding Earth and then an illusory debris field encircling the planet. On Thursday, March 31, the being known as Uatu the Watcher then appeared to Richards and explained that he had been attempting to conceal the Earth from the “Silver Surfer” (real name Norrin Radd), the herald of Galactus, a powerful cosmic being that consumes the energies of entire worlds, leaving them as lifeless husks. Uatu had violated his species’ policy of non-intervention, because he had come to believe through his observations of Earth that the planet was too important to the fate of the universe to be lost. However, the Silver Surfer detected Earth despite his efforts to conceal it. He landed atop the Baxter Building in New York City, where he began sending a signal to his master. The Fantastic Four confronted the Surfer and knocked him unconscious, but could not prevent the signal from being sent.

On March 31, Arthur Curry, Jr. (nicknamed “Aquababy”) was born to King Arthur (“Aquaman”) and Queen Mera in Atlantis. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

April 1966

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. agent Virgil “Guy” Gilbert was given a lightning-powered super-suit and the codename “Lightning.”

New York University biochemistry professor Ted Sallis (age 42) was recruited by the U.S. Army to participate in “Project Sulfur” to study and develop biochemical weapons.

In the early hours of Friday, April 1, Galactus’ planet-devouring world ship appeared in the sky over Manhattan, and the giant cosmic being declared his intention to consume the entire world. Uatu the Watcher tried to persuade Galactus not to harm Earth, buty to no avail. When Galactus continued assembling his planet-devouring device, the Fantastic Four attacked it. Uatu took advantage of the distraction to imbue one of the Fantastic Four, Johnny Storm (a.k.a. The Human Torch), with the power to travel across the universe to retrieve a weapon known as the “ultimate nullifier,” which was the only hope of stopping Galactus. Meanwhile, the Silver Surfer awoke and was persuaded to turn against his master and help save Earth. That gave Storm the time he needed to return with the ultimate nullifier. When Reed Richards threatened to use it against Galactus, the planet-eater agreed to spare Earth and leave if Reed would give him back the weapon. True to his word, Galactus left but not before making it so that the Surfer was bound to Earth, unable to leave it. After the incident, the entire affair was dismissed as an April Fools’ Day hoax.

On Saturday, April 16, UCLA college professors James and Ann Sommers were murdered in what was made to look like a car accident. Both had secretly been undercover government agents. The truth was hidden from their 16-year-old daughter, budding tennis star Jaime.

May 1966

In Boston, failed game-show host Arthur Brown (b. 1940) debuted as the criminal Cluemaster.

In Portugal, British secret agent James Bond met and fell in love with Contessa Teresa (“Tracy”) di Vicenzo, the daughter of Marc-Ange Draco, head of the European crime syndicate Unione Corse. Draco agreed to help Bond try to capture SPECTRE leader Blofeld, while James and Tracy continued a whirlwind romance.

The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) and Hank Pym rejoined The Avengers, the latter adopting the new identity of “Goliath.” The transformations to giant-size continued to create severe physical and mental strain for Pym, however, and he soon found himself trapped at a height of 10 feet (3 m) tall, unable to return to his normal size.

In New York City, crime fighters Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 19) and Daredevil (Matt Murdock, age 28) met for the first time in what was to become a long-lasting friendship.

June 1966

In Boston, botany grad student Pamela Lillian Isley (b. 1944) debuted as the villain Poison Ivy.

The Red Room had kidnapped and brainwashed former Soviet spy Natalia Romanova (age 27) again, and now used her to attack the Avengers. However, Clint Barton (Hawkeye) helped her break their mental conditioning and she was finally able to defect to the United States.

Alan Scott (the former Green Lantern) was briefly married to Rose Canton (formerly the split-personality supervillain known as “Thorn”). The couple conceived twin children on their honeymoon before the bride left her new husband.

July 1966

While pursuing an alien menace across the Milky Way, a giant alien from Planet Ultra (also known as “The Land of Light”) in the M78 nebula (some 1,600 light years from Earth) entered Earth’s atmosphere. There, he accidentally collided with Deputy Captain Shin Hayata, an officer of Japan’s Science Patrol who was investigating the disturbance. To save Hayata’s life, the Ultraman shared his life force with him, binding the two together. This allowed Hayata to transform into call upon the powers and form of the Ultraman whenever needed, which he would use to battle kaiju and aliens that threatened Earth. However, in Earth’s atmosphere, the Ultraman’s power reserve was limited and his alien form could only be maintained for a limited time.

After the Warlord depowered his super helmet, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. agent Menthor (John Janus) was killed.

After years of living peacefully in seclusion, the Gargantuas, Gaira and Sanda, had a violent confrontation in Tokyo before both dying in volcanic activity in the Pacific Ocean.

The Fantastic Four first encountered T’Challa (age 22), the Black Panther, king of the secret African nation of Wakanda.

August 1966

S.H.I.E.L.D. revived the covert “Suicide Squad” field team of its predecessor organization, the Agency of Exceptional Engagements (AXE), now calling it the “Impossible Missions Force” (IMF). Dan Briggs was initially chosen to head the team, but agent Jim Phelps soon took on most of the leadership responsibility.

Acrobat, skydiver and gymnast Craig Lawson was recruited to work for T.H.U.N.D.E.R. as the pilot of their new flight suit. He was given the codename “Raven.”

After a year on the “Ghost Planet,” Tad Bach (age 30) had recuperated from his wounds. His rescuer, Salomon, offered him a space craft to return to Earth. However, as his family had been murdered, Bach felt he had nothing to return to. Instead, against his new friend’s better judgment, he decided to use the weapons Salomon had designed to continue fighting criminals across the galaxy. Salomon, now a pacifist and wanting nothing of war, accused him of merely seeking vengeance and said that he should have let Bach die instead of rescuing him. Bach replied, “I am already dead.” He then took the name “Space Ghost” and began his mission of justice.

September 1966

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. finally defeated the Warlord, the terrorist leader of a subterranean group at war with the surface world.

Aquaman’s half-brother, Orm Curry (b. 1946), debuted as the villainous “Ocean Master.”

In Washington, D.C., Eve Eden, the daughter of the extradimensional queen of the Land of Nightshades (a pocket dimension tied to the Shadowlands), debuted as the hero Nightshade, with power over the mysterious “Darkforce.” [Captain Atom #82]

Hank Pym (Goliath) found a new assistant, biochemistry grad student Bill Foster (b. 1942), who helped him continue to find a solution for being stuck at his current height of 10 feet (3 m).

In Detroit, Britt Reid’s nephew (the son of his brother Jack), Brit Reid II (b. 1936), became the second Green Hornet, and Ikano Kato’s son Hayashi (b. 1948) became the new Kato.

Soon after his career as Space Ghost had begun, Tad Bach returned to the Ghost Planet, where he discovered his friend Salomon dying from wounds sustained during a raid. The bandits had stolen weapons and kidnapped Salomon’s last living relatives, his twin grandchildren Jan and Jace (b. 1952). Bach soon tracked the two teenagers down, and honoring Salomon’s deathbed wish, he remained their guardian until they reached adulthood.

At age 16, Khan Noonien Singh began attending the University of Cambridge.

After completing his final mission, special agent Nukla (Matthew Gibbs) reported for testing to the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) facility in Nye County, Nevada. Officially, these tests were part of the U.S. government’s “Operation Latchkey” testing program at the Nevada Test Site. On September 23, Gibbs was pushed beyond his limits in order to test the strength of his mental control over his physical form, and this ended up killing him. OSI program director Dr. Michael Martin (age 40) officially classified Gibbs’ death as an accident. In reality, though, Martin had intentionally risked Gibbs’ life in order to test his theory that incorporating the U-2 into his energy field had made Nukla stronger than other radiation-based metahumans like Captain Atom and The Man of the Atom.

October 1966

James Bond professed his love for Tracy di Vicenzo and proposed marriage to her. After Bond failed to capture Blofeld in Switzerland, Blofeld took Tracy prisoner. Bond was then able to free Tracy while foiling SPECTRE’s latest scheme and severely injuring Blofeld’s neck.

Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich, a thug in the employ of an Eastern Bloc government, underwent experimental mutagenic chemical and radiation treatments, including gamma ray bombardment, providing him with superhuman strength, heightened levels of speed and stamina, and a high degree of durability. He was fitted with a thick polymer mat suit similar to a rhinoceros hide, bonded to his entire body except for his face. Codenamed “Rhino,” he was sent to the U.S. in October 1966, where he had his first run-in with Spider-Man.

On October 15, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland, California. Initially, the Black Panther Party’s core practice was its armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of police officers and challenge police brutality.

November 1966

In Boston, burglar Julie Lee Kitt (b. 1948) debuted as a new, more violent Catwoman. [Note: her name is an homage to the three actresses who played Catwoman in the 1960s.]

Dan Garret (age 45) was killed in action. He passed on the Blue Beetle legacy to one of his former students, a young, genius inventor named Ted Kord (b. 1947). Ted would take up crime fighting using the Blue Beetle alias, but he was never able to get the mystical Blue Beetle scarab to work for him.

Peter Parker (Spider-Man, age 19) first met Mary Jane Watson (age 18) when his Aunt May set them up on a blind date.

Spider-Man was offered membership into the Avengers, but decided not to join the group. [The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3]

The villain known as “The Mad Thinker” rediscovered the body of the original, android Human Torch (Jim Hammond) buried in the Mojave Desert. He repaired the android and used it to attack the Fantastic Four. However, Hammond managed to override the Mad Thinker’s programming and turn against him. The Mad Thinker then set off a self-destruct mechanism he had implanted in Hammond, once again deactivating him.

Barry Allen and Iris West (both age 33) were married in Kansas City, Missouri on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24[Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

December 1966

Thor rescued Jane Foster (age 22) from the High Evolutionary and defeated his flawed creation, the Man-Beast.

James Bond and his fiancée Tracy di Vicenzo were married in Portugal. As they drove away, Blofeld and Irma Bunt ambushed them and shot at the car, killing Tracy. Bond submersed himself back into espionage work to cope with his grief.

1967

Over spring break, young people began to converge on San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, which was becoming the center of the counterculture “hippie” movement. The term “Summer of Love” was soon coined and the movement reached its peak over the following months. During this time, ex-convict and would-be guru and musician Charles Manson (b. November 12, 1934) formed his “Manson Family” group of followers.

After being raised to adulthood by the  Priests of Pama, Liễu Brandt was mind-wiped and sent into the world to gain life experience. She retained all of her skills, such as knowledge of martial arts and English, but had no memory of her name or past. After living on the street, where she became known as Bọ Ngựa (“Mantis”), she eventually became a prostitute and barmaid in a Vietnamese bar.

Two years after gaining mysterious powers, Buddy Baker (age 21) adopted a costumed identity and began fighting crime as “A-Man” (later “Animal Man”). His superhero career would be brief and sporadic, however, as he would find a career as a Hollywood stuntman more lucrative.

In Boston, Bruce Thomas Wayne graduated with an engineering degree from M.I.T. and entered Yale Law School. Now 21 years old, he continued to be a member of the Titans in his secret identity as Robin, but found himself with less and less time to spare for crime fighting.

Dr. Michael Twoyoungman’s wife Kathryn died. Despite his medical training and his confidence that he could save her, the 42-year-old doctor could only watch as she died. He was devastated, and gave his four-year-old daughter, Elizabeth (b. 1963), to family friends to raise. He then retreated to the Canadian wilderness near Banff National Park. Eventually, he communed with the spirit of his dead grandfather, who had been a shaman, and he began studying Sarcee magic himself.

Mandrake the Magician got a new chef at his home of Xanadu named Hojo (age 35), who turned out to be a director with a secret international intelligence agency that he identified as “Inter-Intel.”

January 1967

The Black Panther Party opened its first official headquarters in Oakland, California.

A six-year-old Barbara Gordon came to live with her 67-year-old great uncle James Gordon, Sr. in Boston after her father Roger Gordon got into legal and drug-related problems in Chicago. (Roger’s mother and James’ sister, Thelma Gordon, had recently died in a car accident while visiting her brother Johnny in Youngstown, Ohio.) Commissioner Gordon, who had been under pressure from the Boston Police Department to retire, decided to finally accept their offer, so he could spend his time caring for his niece.

Odin finally consented to allow Thor to love the human woman Jane Foster (age 23), provided she pass a trial. After Foster failed the test, she was returned to Earth. A heartbroken Thor was then introduced to the Asgardian warrior Sif, who would soon become his new love interest.

Having fallen for the elemental superhero Metamorpho (Rex Mason, age 28) CIA agent Urania “Ranie” Blackwell (age 28) retraced his steps and deliberately exposed herself to the Orb of Ra. The Egyptian god Ammon-Ra heard her pleas and transformed her into one of his metamorphae, the “Elemental Woman.” However, this did not make Metamorpho fall in love with her as she had hoped.

While investigating an unusual Native American folklore in the American Southwest, anthropologist John Dodge discovered several boxes deposited a thousand years prior by ancient aliens. With the help of his assistant, he assembled the contents of those boxes into a giant, remote-controlled robot, which he called “Neutro.” However, activating the robot triggers a homing device, which alerted the terrorist organization “777,” a cell of the global organization Hydra. Hydra agents soon killed the two men and took the robot to the secret island headquarters of its “Big Fire” operation in the Pacific. [Neutro #1 and Giant Robo]

On January 14, the “Human Be-In” at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco was attended by approximately 30,000 people, making it the first event to confirm there was a viable hippie scene. It was at this event that Timothy Leary voiced his phrase, “turn on, tune in, drop out,” which persisted throughout 1967’s “Summer of Love.”

On January 27, a cabin fire during a launch rehearsal test for NASA’s Apollo 1 lunar rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 34 killed all three crew members—Command Pilot Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee—and destroyed the Command Module.

February 1967

At the secret island headquarters of Big Fire in the Pacific, scientists disassembled the robot Neutro and began using its alien technology to construct an even larger, semi-autonomous giant robot. [Neutro #1 and Giant Robo]

In Boston, Harvard Medical School student Michael Jonathan Crane (age 22), nephew of the original “Scarecrow.” debuted as the latest villain to use that alias.

Air Force Col. Steve Austin’s wife Karen died, and their five-year-old son Michael (b. 1961) went to live with Steve’s sister Mary in Seattle.

March 1967

Twins Jennie-Lynn and Todd James were born to Rose Canton in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, unbeknownst to their father Alan Scott. The children were given up for adoption, with Jennie-Lynn (the future “Jade”) adopted by the Hayden family, and Todd James (the future “Obsidian”) adopted into the abusive Rice family.

Natalia “Natasha” Romanova (age 28) joined S.H.I.E.L.D. using the codename “Black Widow.”

Kona went on his last adventure with the Dodd family, and then returned to his home on Monster Island (Caprona).

April 1967

While fighting an enemy called Zetton, Ultraman remained in his giant alien form too long. As a result, he collapsed into a dormant state. However, he had weakened Zetton enough that the Science Patrol was able to defeat him. Soon afterwards, Zoffy, the Ultraman’s superior from his home planet, came to retrieve the fallen hero. Ultraman pleaded for the life of Shin Hayata, his human host, and offered his life completely in exchange so that Hayata might live as a normal man. Zoffy separated the life forces of the Ultraman and Hayata and restored both, then both aliens departed for Planet Ultra. After his departure, in honor of the Ultraman, Japan’s Science Patrol was renamed the Ultra Garrison.

May 1967

Former Canadian World War II heroes “Johnny Canuck” and “Wing, the Queen of Justice” (Trixie Rogers) were married.

Matthew “Red” Ryan, one of the members of the “Challengers of the Unknown” team of adventurers, was caught in an explosion and seemingly killed.

Carol Danvers (age 22) graduated from the Air Force Academy at the top of her class and was made an officer. Within a year, she would find herself placed in charge of security at a top-secret base.

June 1967

British secret agent James Bond faked his own death and went on an undercover mission in Japan.

Harold “Happy” Hogan (age 31) and Virginia “Pepper” Potts (age 24) eloped. They left the employment of Tony Stark (age 28) and started a new life together in the Rocky Mountains.

Vic Sage (born Charles Victor Szasz, 1947) debuted as the masked crime fighter “The Question” in St. Louis, Missouri.

In Atlantis, Tula (b. 1952) debuted as “Aquagirl.”

The Six-Day War was fought June 5–10 between Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt (known at the time as the United Arab Republic), Jordan and Syria. After a period of high tension, the war began on June 5 with Israel launching surprise strikes against Egyptian air-fields, after the mobilization of Egyptian forces in Sinai Peninsula on the Israeli border. Within six days, Israel had won a decisive land war and Israeli forces had taken control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. A ceasefire was signed the following day.

July 1967

Spider-Man had his first encounter with Wilson Fisk (age 42), known in New York City as the “Kingpin of Crime.”

S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury tricked HYDRA leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker’s own men into killing him. However, through HYDRA’s advanced technology, Strucker’s consciousness was preserved in an artificial brain, allowing him to return several times over the years as an android.

The 1967 Detroit riot began in the early morning hours of July 23 following a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in U.S. history. To help end the disturbance, Governor George W. Romney ordered the Michigan National Guard into Detroit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in Army troops. When the riots ended on July 27, there were 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed.

August 1967

The FBI issued a directive to neutralize “black nationalist hate groups” and other dissident groups, including the Black Panther Party.

Dr. Richard Kimble finally caught the one-armed man who had killed his wife Helen.

Arthur Curry abdicated the throne of Atlantis, appointing Dr. Vulko as his successor.

On August 10, circus acrobat Boston Brand (b. November 6, 1948) was murdered while performing a trapeze routine. However, before his spirit could pass on to the Afterlife, it was intercepted by a powerful being calling herself Rama Kushna, who gave Brand the power to possess any living being. Brand began using his new ability to fight crime as “Deadman.” [Dates taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

September 1967

While on assignment in Atlantis, United Nations research scientist David Jones was murdered by the villain Black Manta (David, age 19). Shortly thereafter, Aquaman (Arthur Curry, age 26) first encountered Black Manta, who would become his most persistent foe.

Following the implosion of the Darkstars interstellar police force, the primitive planet Amzot was subjected to numerous invasion attempts. However, the combined efforts of the Herculoids were repeatedly able to turn away each attack.

After nearly a decade of genetic research, the scientists of the Enclave, a covert organization bent on world domination, had developed an artificial, “perfect” human being within a sort of coccoon. Their goal had been to create an army of soldiers at the pinnacle of future human evolution with which to conquer the world. However, the new being was beyond their control. Immediately sensing that his creators sought to use him for evil means, the being, known only as “Him,” escaped and fled. [Fantastic Four #66-67]

On Tuesday, September 5, a judge exonerated Dr. Richard Kimble for the murder of his wife based on new evidence obtained.

October 1967

Following the return of the original “Ultraman” to Planet Ultra in April, the Ultras decided that one of their kind should return to Earth to learn more about human society. The alien known as Agent 340 was selected for this mission. Assuming human form, he adopted the name Dan Moroboshi and joined the Ultra Guard as its sixth member, codenamed “Ultra Six.” Unknown to them, he would secretly transform into his giant alien form when needed in order to fight kaiju and alien threats. The team named his alien form “Ultra Seven,” and made him an unofficial member of the team, never realizing that he and Moroboshi were one and the same.

Jūrō Minami (b. 1946), secretly Agent U3 of the Japanese branch of the top-secret United Nations peacekeeping organization U.N.C.L.E., met a young boy named Daisaku Kusama (b. 1957) while on an ocean voyage from Japan. When the ocean liner they were on was attacked by a giant sea monster, they became shipwrecked on the secret island base of the Big Fire cell of the terrorist organization Hydra. There, they discovered a giant robot being built by captive scientist Dr. Lucius Guardian, who decided to give the two fugitives its control device, a miniature transmitter built into a wristwatch. The robot could only be controlled by the first voice recorded in its electronic brain, which turned out to be Daisaku’s. However, it first needed to be charged up by atomic energy. Dr. Guardian helped Daisaku and Jūrō escape, only to be shot to death himself. Before he was shot and killed, though, Dr. Guardian triggered an atomic explosion that destroyed the base and activated the robot. As controller of the “Giant Robo,” Daisaku was invited by Jūrō and his chief Azuma to join U.N.C.L.E. as its seventh Japanese member, U7. [Giant Robo]

The High Evolutionary developed a process to advance the Hulk’s evolution, but ended up using it on himself instead. The process gave him almost god-like powers. Traveling into space, he eventually decided to use his new powers to create a copy of Earth that he could guide develop into a flawless paradise.

The legendary hero Hercules joined the Avengers.

On October 20, the first film footage of a Sasquatch (or “Bigfoot”) was obtained in northern California by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin.

On October 28, Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton killed police officer John Frey.

November 1967

Working for the U.S. Army’s Project Sufur, Dr. Ted Sallis (age 43) developed “Serum SO-2,” which appeared to grant complete immunity to all known toxic biochemical, but had mutagenic effects. Sallis renounced the project and left, taking all of his research on SO-2 with him before any of the serum could be produced by the Army.

December 1967

Captain Mar-Vell was sent to spy on Earth and decide if it posed a threat to the alien Kree Empire. He adopted the identity of a recently deceased scientist named Walter Lawson, but occasionally donned his Kree military uniform to protect the people he was observing. The first time he did this, people heard him incorrectly pronounce his name as “Captain Marvel,” and the moniker stuck.

Dane Whitman (age 23) became the new Black Knight after discovering the enchanted Ebony Blade of his ancestor, the sixth century Knight of the Round Table, Sir Percy of Scandia.

Captain Atom (Allen Adam) was captured by Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) operatives and taken to their secret base at the Nevada Test Site. On December 16, as part of “Operation Emery,” he was subjected to the same test that had killed Nukla the previous year. He quickly perished, leading program director Dr. Michael Martin to conclude that the process that had created Nukla was stronger than the one that had created Captain Atom. Martin began secretly planning another radiation experiment to create the next-generation atomic hero.

1968

Frank Castiglione (b. February 16, 1947) began serving his first tour of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam.

The Black Panther Party spread to many other cities throughout the United States, including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, New York City, Omaha, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toledo and Washington, D.C. Peak membership was near 10,000 by the end of the year, and their newspaper, under the editorial leadership of Eldridge Cleaver, had a circulation of 250,000.

After a technicality set free suspected child murderer Freddy Krueger (age 37), an angry mob seeking vigilante justice caught him and burned him alive in his hometown of Springfield, Ohio. Upon his death, the Dream Demons offered his spirit the opportunity to become their agent, which he accepted. [A Nightmare on Elm Street]

As her own health began to fail, Harriet Cooper was no longer able to continue helping her niece Kathy Kane Grayson (Bat-Woman) care for her now five-year-old son, Dick Grayson, Jr., and so she moved out of Wayne Manor and into a high-end assisted-living facility. However, she would stay in touch with her nephew until her death (of natural causes) in early 1976.

Construction began on Hancock Place (commonly known as the John Hancock Tower) in Boston.

January 1968

On January 30, the forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army launched a campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian commands and control centers throughout South Vietnam. These attacks, known as the Tet Offensive, initially caught the U.S. and South Vietnamese armies off guard and caused them to temporarily lose control of several cities, but they quickly regrouped to beat back the attacks, inflicting massive casualties on communist forces. During the Battle of Huế, intense fighting lasted for a month resulting in the destruction of the city by U.S. forces. During their occupation, the communists executed thousands of people in the Massacre at Huế. Around the U.S. combat base at Khe Sanh, fighting continued for two more months. Although the offensive was a military defeat for the communists, it had a profound effect on the U.S. government and shocked the U.S. public, which had been led to believe by its political and military leaders that the communists were, due to previous defeats, incapable of launching such a massive effort.

February 1968

Dr. Michael Martin (age 41), Nuclear Programs Director at the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) used his covert ties within the U.S. Air Force’s Special Weapons Programs to frame U.S. Air Force officer Nathaniel Christopher Adam for a crime he did not commit. The nephew of Allen Adam (the original Captain Atom), Nathaniel had been identified by Martin as a prime metahuman candidate. Accused of treason during the Tet Offensive that had caused the deaths of dozens of U.S. troops, Adam was soon sentenced to death. However, he was offered an alternative to execution: participation in an experiment with little chance of survival, in exchange for a full Presidential pardon. With little alternative, he accepted the deal.

After wandering through Subterranea with amnesia for several years, Prince Gor-Tek of Mu regained his memory and swore revenge upon the human race for the destruction of his homeland and people. Taking the name “Grotesk,” he sought to use an earthquake machine to destroy New York City, but was stopped by the X-Men. [X-Men #41-42]

Discovering that she was pregnant, Sue Storm Richards (a.k.a. the Invisible Girl, age 30) took a leave of absence from the Fantastic Four. [Fantastic Four #71]

March 1968

Finding himself out of work for his audacious behavior on television, former Boston news show host Jack Ryder (b. May 8, 1937) had turned his love of investigative journalism into a new career as a private detective. While investigating a local mob boss, he crashed a masquerade ball dressed in a garish green, yellow and red costume and face paint. Inside, Ryder discovered Dr. Victor Yatz (b. 1909), a government scientist who had been kidnapped by the mob because of his research into an ancient, alien nanotech serum that they hoped would give them super powers to help them fight Batman. The mobsters discovered Ryder and stabbed him, then sadistically injected both Yatz and him with toxic doses of drugs from Yatz’s laboratory. Yatz went into immediate cardiac arrest, but before dying, he injected Ryder with the only sample of the mysterious alien serum. When activated with a hand-held atomic device, the serum gave Ryder enhanced strength, agility and the ability to quickly recover from almost any wound. After healing him from his stab wound, and even repairing the tear in his masquerade costume, the nanotech serum created an artificial intelligence network throughout his body and scanned an “impression” of his current state for future reference. As that state was ramped full of adrenaline and mentally destabilized due to dangerously high levels of mood-altering drugs, this would prove to be problematic in the future. Ryder was able to use his newfound powers to disable to mobsters and escape. He soon discovered that he could use the hand-held activator device to turn his powers on or off. When activated, the alien nanotech would recreate the bizarre masquerade costume and face paint he had been wearing, as these were part of the “impression” first made of him. He would also become somewhat mentally unhinged, as he would find his brain chemistry altered to a somewhat deranged mental state, similar to the one he had been in when the nanotech first scanned him. Calling himself “The Creeper,” Ryder began his new life as a very unconventional crime fighter.

Matthew “Red” Ryan was discovered to still be alive and returned to the Challengers of the Unknown team.

The supervillain formerly known as “Mr. Zero” reappeared in Boston now calling himself “Mr. Freeze.”

U.S. Air Force officer Carol Danvers (age 23) first met Dr. Walter Lawson (who was secretly the Kree alien known as Mar-Vell, a.k.a. “Captain Marvel”).

Guy Gardner (b. 1941) of Baltimore, Maryland was selected by the Guardians of the Universe to serve as the back-up Green Lantern of Sector 2814.

April 1968

In a final confrontation between the United Nations counter-espionage organization U.N.C.L.E. and the terrorist group Big Fire (a branch of Hydra), the alien tyrant “Emperor Guillotine” emerged from his undersea base and grew to gigantic proportions. To defeat him, Giant Robo sacrificed itself, flying both combatants into outer space, where they crashed into an asteroid and were destroyed. The giant robot’s handler, Daisaku Kusama (age 11), quit working with U.N.C.L.E. and tried to return to a normal life. [Giant Robo]

On April 4, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

On April 7, a team of Black Panther Party members led by Eldridge Cleaver ambushed police officers in Oakland, California. Cleaver was wounded and arrested in the shootout, while 17-year-old Panther Bobby Hutton was killed. Hutton’s death became a rallying point for Panther supporters.

May 1968

T’Challa (age 24), the Black Panther, king of the secret African nation of Wakanda, traveled to New York City, where he accepted membership in The Avengers.

Distraught over the apparent death of his brother Simon and blaming the Avengers, Eric Williams assumed the identity of the Grim Reaper in an effort to destroy them.

The island home of the Aerie (Bird People) rose from the sea, where it had been submerged in 1945, and Red Raven awoke from suspended animation. He encountered Angel (Warren Worthington III) of the X-Men and clashed with him. Angel urged him to re-awaken his people, but Red Raven decided to again sink the island and keep his people (and himself) in suspended animation.

June 1968

When a mob boss tried to kill their father, teenage brothers Donald “Don”(b. 1950) and Henry “Hank” (b. 1952) Hall pursued him, only to find themselves trapped in a locked room. While trying to free themselves, they were confronted by a loud voice. The two had been chosen by the mystical Lords of Order and Chaos. By saying the words“hawk” and “dove,” the two transformed into superheroes with the same names, and given powers provided they use those powers to fight injustice. After justice was served, they would change back. As Dove, the champion of Order, Don Hall always advocated non-violent solutions, while Hank favored more aggressive solutions as Hawk, the champion of Chaos. The two saved their father, a judge, who in turn denounced the boys as lawless vigilantes.

Due to the trickery of Magneto, the Avengers ended up fighting the X-Men.

Presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy was shot on June 5 and died the following day.

Disgraced U.S. Air Force officer Nathaniel Christopher Adam had been framed and falsely accused of treason on the battlefield of Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. He had agreed to participate in a top-secret experiment with little chance of survival in exchange for a full Presidential pardon. The experiment involved testing the hull of what he was told was a crashed alien ship's durability by placing a human being within the metal’s protection and then exploding a nuclear weapon under it. This experiment was carried out on June 25 at the Nevada Test Site as part of “Operation Crosstie.” When the detonation went off, both Adam and the ship’s hull were seemingly disintegrated. Dr. Michael Martin, Nuclear Programs Director at the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), had expected them to re-form as the original Captain Atom had, not realizing that the force of the explosion had had temporal effects and that Adam would not re-form as the new Captain Atom until 1987.

July 1968

Dr. Henry Pym created the robot Ultron.

The first record of the outbreak of the “Hong Kong flu” appeared in Hong Kong on July 13. By the end of the month, extensive outbreaks were reported in Vietnam and Singapore, and by September it had reached India, the Philippines, northern Australia, Europe and California. In all, the pandemic would kill an estimated one million people worldwide, peaking in December 1968 and January 1969.

August 1968

On the planet Rann, the elemental being Ulthoon, who suffered from a split-personality, had long enjoyed having his “good” Tornado Champion personality in control, but the “evil” Tornado Tyrant personality began to dominate again. Disheartened, the Tornado Champion personality tricked his wicked half into leaving Rann and traveling to Earth, where he was defeated and imprisoned by the Justice League.

Construction began on the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

The Combined Miniature Defense Forces (CMDF, formerly Combined Miniature Deterrent Forces) branch of the Department of External Services (DXS) was reactivated after progress was made in extending the length of the miniaturization process from roughly 60 minutes to 12 hours.

The Democratic National Convention was held August 26-29 in Chicago, Illinois. The year had been fraught with violence and unrest, and the convention became the focal point for a large number of protesters. The city of Chicago responded with even greater numbers of police and National Guard, which escalated the situation and led to violent clashes with protesters.

September 1968

After spending nearly a year on Earth, Ultra Seven (Agent 340 from Planet Ultra) had become too weak to recover from the injuries he had sustained and was forced to return to his home planet.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the Black Panther Party as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.”

The Doom Patrol were killed while on a mission. Of the original members, only Robotman (Cliff Steele) survived. The 16-year-old Beast Boy (Gar Logan) was deeply affected by their passing and gave up being a hero for a while.

Space Ghost (Tad Bach, age 32) first encountered the Herculoids when he helped foil an attack on their home planet Amzot.

The scientist T.O. Morrow had been working with the Justice League, but secretly plotted to undermine them. He had secretly built a robot to defeat them, and as the final step patterned his android’s brain wave patterns after a criminal who had recently given the Justice League much trouble: Ulthoon the Tornado Tyrant. However, Morrow didn’t realize that the Tornado Tyrant actually had a split-personality. In the process of trying to copy Ulthoon’s thought patterns, he accidentally separated the Tornado Champion and Tornado Tyrant personalities. On September 29, the Tornado Champion personality was transferred to the android, while the Tornado Tyrant personality remained in Ulthoon’s body. Ulthoon also retained all of his own memories, as both the Champion and the Tyrant, while the android started as a clean slate. Morrow tried to use his android to attack the Justice League. When the android believed it had accidentally killed someone, however, its better nature kicked in and it turned against Morrow and became an ally of the Justice League. Discovering that it had elemental powers similar to the Tornado Tyrant, the android called itself the “Red Tornado.” [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

October 1968

After hitmen killed a key witness to a Senate Subcommittee hearing on organized crime, San Francisco police officer Lt. Frank Bullitt pursued leads to find the killers and unravel the mystery. [Bullitt]

The robot Ultron found the body of the original, android Human Torch and used it to create a new android, which became known as “Vision.” (In doing so, he also used the brain wave patterns of the comatose Simon Williams, a.k.a. Wonder Man, that Tony Stark had on file at the Avengers compound.) Ultron tried to use Vision to attack The Avengers, but the android was convinced to turn against his creator and join the team instead.

The X-Men first met Lorna Dane (a.k.a. Polaris, b. 1950), a young woman with mutant magnetic powers who would eventually prove to be Magneto’s daughter.

Bruce Thomas Wayne (age 22) retired from crime fighting as Robin in order to focus on law school. However, he would continue to provide some funding for his former team, the Titans, from his personal fortune.

November 1968

After a harrowing journey to the Negative Zone, where the Fantastic Four first encountered Annihilus, Reed Richards returned to New York City with a special element (“Element X”) that saved his wife Sue and their baby from the risk posed by the cosmic rays in Sue’s body. Sue then delivered the baby safely, and they named him Franklin Benjamin Richards. [Fantastic Four Annual #6]

The island of Themyscira (a.k.a. “Paradise Island”) was relocated to another dimension. Princess Diana (Wonder Woman, age 46) was commanded by the gods to accompany her people, but chose to remain with her husband, Steve Trevor (age 49). As a result, she lost the powers granted to her by the Olympian gods.

Namor uncovered Paul Destine’s plot to overthrow the world. Driven mad with power, Destine had begun to believe he no longer needed the Serpent Crown to give him powers. In the ensuing confrontation with Namor, he tried to levitate down from a building without the helmet and fell to his death.

Dr. Michael Martin, head of the nuclear research division of the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), was promoted to Director of the organization and relocated from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C.

December 1968

Realizing that they needed help while Sue Richards (The Invisible Girl) was on maternity leave, the Fantastic Four decided to invite Johnny Storm’s girlfriend Crystal to take a temporary spot on the team. At first, Reed Richards was against letting the 21-year-old member of the Inhuman royal family accompany them, but he is soon persuaded that she is capable and welcomes her to the team. [Fantastic Four #81]

The strain of changing to giant size using Pym Particles caused Hank Pym to have a mental breakdown. Believing he was someone else, he claimed to have killed Hank Pym, designed a new costume and called himself “Yellowjacket.”

Thor finally overcame his mental block and understood the truth that he was always Thor and had never really been Dr. Donald Blake. He ceased using Blake’s personality, but never forgot the valuable lessons in humility and humanity that the experience had given him.

Steve Trevor was killed by the villainous Dr. Cyber. His wife Diana, the former Wonder Woman, then began training under the blind martial arts master I-Ching and continued fighting crime even without super powers. [Wonder Woman #179] To protect their daughter Lyta (age 13), Diana asked Steve’s brother Derek and his wife Joan to watch over her, unaware that Lyta was beginning to exhibit super powers of her own.

The agents of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. were all killed while on assignment.

1969

Having returned home to his native Canada, Logan (age 77) was abducted by Department K’s “Weapon X” program, which would spend the next few years experimenting on him.

A single, unidentified individual became infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Haiti and then brought the infection to the United States, triggering the global AIDS pandemic.

January 1969

Construction began on the South Tower of the World Trade Center complex in New York City.

While Hank Pym was still suffering from a mental breakdown and calling himself “Yellowjacket,” he and his girlfriend Janet Van Dyne (The Wasp) were married. Eventually, Hank regained his senses, but kept the new Yellowjacket identity.

After nearly five years of being constantly on the road, Ralph Dibny (a.k.a. Elongated Man, age 29) and his wife Sue (age 26) took a break from traveling for a while.

Elaine (née Banner) Walters (b. 1922), wife of Los Angeles County Sheriff William Morris Walters (b. 1923), mother of teenager Jennifer Walters (the future She-Hulk, b. 1951) and aunt of Dr. Bruce Banner (a.k.a. “The Hulk,” b. 1936), died in a car crash.

On January 20, Richard M. Nixon (b. 1913) became the 37th U.S. President (1969-1974).

February 1969

The Combined Miniature Defense Forces (CMDF) branch of the Department of External Services (DXS) was shut down again after the entire expedition team was killed during an accident in which they were unable to complete their final mission within 12 hours.

Sophisticated thief Simon Templar (age 32), a.k.a. “The Saint,” was offered a job working for British Intelligence.

March 1969

Scott Summers (Cyclops of the X-Men, age 21) was reunited with his long-lost brother Alex (age 18). Now a college student, Alex would also prove to be a mutant and would eventually join the X-Men using the alias “Havok.”

John Sargent, better known as “Sargon the Sorcerer,” reappeared after two decades. Instead of being a hero in the fight against crime, however, he was now himself a criminal, his mind completely corrupted by the power of the “Ruby of Life” that gave him his magic powers. He would eventually regain his right mind, but he would not relinquish the Ruby and his grip on sanity would remain tenuous for the rest of his life.

Harlem social worker Samuel Thomas “Sam” Wilson (b. 1946) began a new job working for an international charity and traveled to Rio de Janeiro for orientation. There, he learned that he had been assigned to help provide relief aid to the residents of the disputed, war-torn Caribbean island of Santa Prisca. Almost immediately after reaching the island, he befriended a wild, young red-tailed hawk, which he named “Redwing,” and with which he found that he shared an almost telepathic connection. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, the connection really was telepathic, as the bird had gained this power after a chance encounter with the Red Skull’s Cosmic Cube. Wilson and Redwing spent every free moment training together. [I refuse to recognize the racist “Snap” Wilson retcon. I’m un-retconning it.]

April 1969

Since his transformation into a being of energy, Dr. Raymond Solar (The Man of the Atom) had found it increasingly difficult to maintain a physical, corporeal form. Now, he found it excruciatingly difficult, and went into semi-retirement as a crime fighter, knowing that soon he may not be able to re-form at all.

Bill Foster (age 26) earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry. He would continue to work with Dr. Hank Pym (Yellowjacket), taking on an expanded role in continuing Pym’s research.

May 1969

On Mars, the White Martian dictator known as Commander Blanx committed genocide across the entire planet by unleashing the Blue Flame. This left the entire planet barren and erased almost all evidence of it ever having been inhabited. (The three spacecraft put into orbit around Mars that year – two by the Soviets and one by the Americans – would find no signs of life.) He was eventually defeated by the Justice League in time to save a few remaining Martians. The survivors migrated to New Barsoom (a.k.a. Mars II), a near-match planet around a star in the constellation Cygnus. J’onn J’onzz (The Martian Manhunter, age 77) left Earth to be a leader among his people on the new planet.

After aiding humanity several times, the Kree warrior Mar-Vell was found guilty of treason against the Kree Empire and sentenced to death. Mar-Vell escaped in a stolen rocket, but became lost in space.
Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man, age 22) graduated from New York University.

June 1969

While working with an international relief organization on the Caribbean island of Santa Prisca, Harlem native Sam Wilson had made contact with a local militia calling themselves the “Exiles,” which he believed was sympathetic to his cause. When they discovered that he had trained one of the local falcons, they tried to buy the bird from him; he refused to part with it but reluctantly agreed to help them train additional falcons. However, as he began working with them, he soon discovered that the Exiles were secretly a neo-Nazi terrorist organization run by the criminal known as the Red Skull. Wilson fled from them and began working with the local residents of Santa Prisca to undermine the Nazi warmongers in their midst.

After an encounter with Thor and Sif, the being known as “Him” decided to leave Earth. He formed a new cocoon and flew off into space. [Thor #165-166]

July 1969

In the Soviet Union, Alex Nevsky (b. 1939), former assistant to Anton Vanko, succeeded in recreating his former mentor’s mechanized armor, and became the third Crimson Dynamo.

On Tuesday, July 15 in Boston, Batman (Dick Grayson, age 36) and Bat-Woman (Kathy Kane Grayson, age 35) were murdered by the League of Assassins. At the age of 23, Bruce Thomas Wayne found himself the legal guardian of six-year-old Dick Grayson, Jr. Bruce asked his own surrogate father Alfred Pennyworth (age 50) for help in raising Dick while he finished his last year of law school. [In the 1976 DC Calendar, this was the date that Dick Grayson’s parents were killed. I’ve interpreted that to mean the Silver Age version of Dick Grayson.]

The U.S. Apollo 11 spaceflight departed Earth on July 16. At 20:18 UTC on July 20, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Ed “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon, while a third crew member, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit. Amstrong took the first step onto the lunar surface six hours later before a live television audience at 02:56 UTC on July 21, and described the event as “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong and Aldrin returned to the command module just under a day later, and all three crew members returned safely to Earth on July 24.

August 1969

On the night of August 8–9, Charles Manson directed his “Manson Family” followers to brutally kill everyone inside a house owned by music producer Terry Melcher, with whom Manson was displeased. At the time, Melcher was renting the home to film director Roman Polanski, who was not home. However, his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, was among the four people murdered.

The Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the Catskills near Woodstock, New York, from August 1518. During the sometimes rainy weekend, 32 acts performed outdoors before an audience of 400,000 young people. It is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history and the definitive nexus for the counterculture generation.

September 1969

Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) began attending post-graduate classes at Columbia University in New York.

After drifting lost in space for 112 Earth days, the Kree warrior Mar-Vell was weak and on the verge of madness. He was manipulated by Ronan the Accuser and Minister Zarek into helping them overthrow the Supreme Intelligence. However, Mar-Vell helped foil the conspiracy. In gratitude, the Supreme Intelligence gave him a new costume and enhanced powers and allowed him to return to Earth as he desired. However, on his way back to that planet, he was hit by a blast of radiation that trapped him in the Negative Zone.

The Challengers of the Unknown first met the mysterious Corinna Stark, who subbed for Prof Haley as a member of the team while he recovered from a gunshot wound.

On the Caribbean island of Santa Prisca, international aid worker Sam Wilson (age 23) met Captain America (Steve Rogers, age 28). Rogers helped Wilson defeat the Nazis who had been causing trouble for the local residents. Impressed by Wilson’s abilities, Rogers then encouraged him to continue fighting crime. The grateful residents of Santa Prisca helped design a costume for him, and he adopted the alias “Falcon.” He then returned back home to New York, where he would be Captain America’s frequent partner over the next several years.

October 1969

The Kree Supreme Intelligence enabled Mar-Vell to telepathically contact the human Rick Jones (age 23), which he used to lead Jones to a set of “nega-bands” at an abandoned Kree base. When Jones put the bands on and struck them together, he traded places with Mar-Vell and was encased in a protective aura in the Negative Zone. The pair discovered they were able to maintain telepathic contact. Using this method, Mar-Vell could remain in the positive universe for a period of up to three hours.

When his secretary and girlfriend Karen Page (age 27) revealed to him that she was pregnant with his child, Matt Murdock (age 31) told her about his secret identity as the costumed crime fighter Daredevil. The revelations proved to be more than their relationship could handle, and they went their separate ways.

New York University biochemistry professor Ted Sallis (age 45) eloped with 19-year old Ellen Brandt, one of his students. In the resulting scandal, he was suspended from the university.

On Monday, October 6, police detective Larry Lance (age 46) was killed while saving the life of his wife Dinah Drake Lance (the original Black Canary, age 42) and their two children: Dinah Laurel (age 16) and Quentin (age 12). Out of grief, Dinah Laurel Lance sought an old acquaintance of her mother, Ted “Wildcat” Grant (age 45), who taught her to fight “like a superhero,” then she put on a costume like her mother’s old one and became the new Black Canary. [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

The ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), predecessor to the modern Internet, was launched on October 29. It used newly developed packet switching technology and protocols to transfer data between computers on four college campuses: UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara and the University of Utah.

November 1969

Nearly a year after all of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. agents were killed on assignment, the United Nations finally made the decision to dissolve the program rather than continuing with new recruits.

U.S. Air Force officer Carol Danvers (age 24) was caught in the explosion of a Kree device called a “Psyche-Magnetron.” Although her life was saved by Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), she suffered serious injuries.

Oliver Queen (age 27) lost Queen Industries to John Deleon (b. 1917), a corrupt employee. Undaunted, he grew a goatee and reevaluated his priorities.

Dr. Strange discovered a plan by the extradimensional Undying Ones to invade Earth, and he began researching the magic needed to prevent the invasion from succeeding.

The U.S. Apollo 12 mission (November 14-24) became the second to successfully land on the moon.

December 1969

On Thursday, December 4, Bruce Thomas Wayne (age 23) took his first case as Batman, the third person to wear the cowl. Instead of operating from Wayne Manor as his father and adopted brother had, Bruce T. originally operated from his own penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation building. [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

On Wednesday, December 17, the U.S. Air Force publicly shut down its Project Blue Book program to track and identify UFOs. However, records later showed that the program secretly continued into January of the following year, as its operations were being transferred to the Men in Black organization.


The Bronze Seventies / Me Decade

1970

All five of the late Jim Harper’s adopted sons (the former members of The Newsboy Legion) were hired as scientists by Project Cadmus: Tommy Tomkins, Anthony Rodriguez, Johnny Gabrielli, Patrick MacGuire and Walter Johnson, Jr.

The High Evolutionary completed the creation of “Counter-Earth,” an exact copy of our planet hidden on the other side of the Sun and shielded by a powerful dimensional barrier that kept it hidden (“out of phase”) and concealed any evidence of its gravitational field. Exact duplicates were made of many people, complete with false memories matching our own Earth’s history. However, there were also many differences, including the absence of people with extraordinary abilities. While the High Evolutionary had intended for his new world to evolve into a paradise, he soon realized that the evil Man-Beast, had interfered with his experiment and that Counter-Earth had ended up resembling the original Earth to an uncanny degree, teetering on the balance between good and evil.

John Shaft (b. 1942) began operating as a private detective on the mean streets of New York City.

Now a troubled teenager mixed up with gangs and crime, Ben Turner (age 18) decided to turn back to martial arts for help. Realizing that he needed to get out of Kansas City, he decided to travel to the Far East. Finding himself near Kyoto, Japan, he was introduced to O-Sensei and began studying under him.

While working on a human exoskeleton project for the Am-Can Corporation in Canada, petrochemical engineer James MacDonald Hudson, Jr. (b. 1944) met and fell in love with Heather MacNeil (b. 1948).

January 1970

Without the leadership of Bruce T. Wayne as Robin, the Titans had felt their team drifting apart. They decided to expand their ranks and invited super-powered brothers Hawk and Dove (Don and Hank Hall, ages 19 and 17) to join the roster. Not long afterward, they met a precognitive girl named Lilith Clay (age 15) who warned them that they would soon “open the door for death.” Her prediction came true when the Titans’ uncoordinated attempt to to a gunman at a peace rally resulted in the death of peace activist Dr. Arthur Swenson. Although the Titans were not charged with a crime, their allies in the Justice League had harsh words for their handling of the situation, and their former ally Batman (Bruce T. Wayne) withdrew further funding of the team.

The X-Men first encountered the Japanese mutant Shiro Yoshida (a.k.a. Sunfire, age 23).

February 1970

The Titans gained a new benefactor in the form of Loren Jupiter, a wealthy but mysterious philanthropist. Jupiter was in fact an alias of Dr. Michael Martin, Director of the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), who had secured secret government funding for the Titans should they agree to participate in a team training program. Unknown to the Titans, the program allowed the OSI to spy on them to observe their psychological profiles and better understand what motivated the costumed heroes. As part of their new arrangement, the Titans were required to abandon their traditional costumes for matching uniforms, and they also had certain inhibitors placed on their powers. Lilith Clay also joined the team at this time.

Dr. Strange recruited the help of Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner to ward off the invasion of the extradimensional Undying Ones. The two managed to fight the Undying Ones’ leader back into his own dimension. Dr. Strange then sent Namor back to Earth, while he remained behind. Strange had prepared a powerful spell to hold closed the portal between the Undying Ones’ universe and our own, but that spell required a human host to remain in the realm of the Undying Ones.

The Justice League began using a geosyncronous satellite, orbiting 22,300 miles above Earth’s equator, as its headquarters. It was accessed via secret teleportation centers located around the planet.

March 1970

Malcolm Arnold “Mal” Duncan (b. 1951) met the Titans and assisted them in a fight. Although he had no superpowers or prior experience, his athleticism and noble spirit made him a top candidate for Mr. Jupiter’s top-secret training program, and he was invited to join the team.

April 1970

While in college in Switzerland, Richard Fisk (age 20) learned about the criminal activities of his father, notorious crime lord Wilson Fisk (a.k.a. “The Kingpin,” age 45). He faked his own death and set about trying to dismantle his father’s criminal empire as “The Schemer.” Father and son would soon reconcile, however.

The cult of the Undying Ones sent the Hulk into the Undying Ones’ universe, hoping he would unwittingly re-open the portal to our universe and free their masters. There, the Hulk discovered Dr. Strange, whose spell had been holding the Undying Ones at bay. The spell required someone from Earth to remain behind. Confronted with the true horror of the Undying Ones, cult member Barbara Norriss, who had accompanied the Hulk, felt remorseful and volunteered to take Strange’s place as the host of the spell. Strange and the Hulk then returned to Earth.

On April 6, four California Highway Patrol officers were killed in less than five minutes in Newhall, California during a shootout with two heavily armed criminals. The incident, known as the “Newhall Massacre,” was at the time the deadliest day in the history of law enforcement in the state. The fact that it happened just miles from Hal Jordan’s home town while he was out patrolling space a billion light years away as Green Lantern was hard for Jordan to handle, and was a big part of the reason why he decided to spend some time taking a “road trip” with his friend Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) to “get to know America” over the coming weeks.

During the U.S. Apollo 13 mission (April 11-17), the moon landing was aborted when the Service Module failed. The crew then used the Lunar Module as a “lifeboat” on the return voyage to Earth.
As soon as he turned 18 on April 23, Lionel Joseph Colby petitioned the court to legally change his name to Alexander Luthor. He was motivated in large part by an admiration for his uncle, the supervillain Alexei Luthor (age 56), who had been disowned by the rest of the family.

May 1970

At the age of 24, Bruce Thomas Wayne (Batman) graduated from Yale Law School.

Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) achieved his master’s degree in biochemistry at Columbia University in New York.

The murder conviction of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton was overturned, but he remained incarcerated.

On Monday, May 4, members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed college students at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four students and wounding nine others. Some of the students who were shot had been protesting the Cambodian Campaign, which President Richard Nixon announced during a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance. There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of four million students, and the event further affected public opinion—at an already socially contentious time—over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.

June 1970

In Boston, Dr. Robert Kirkland “Kirk” Langstrom (b. 1942) developed a serum that showed promise in giving deaf lab rats a bat-like sense of echolocation. Being nearly deaf, he decided to perform the first human trial on himself. The serum had unexpected effects, transforming him into a mindless, bat-like creature, the “Man-Bat.” Batman was able to find a way to reverse the effects, and Langstrom feigned destruction of the research. Secretly, however, he continued to develop the formula and would transform himself, his wife and their children many more times over the coming years.

An undersea earthquake shook loose the island home of the Aerie (Bird People), which had been submerged and its inhabitants placed in suspended animation. Red Raven awoke and was found by his old ally Namor the Sub-Mariner. But waking too soon from the suspended animation process had driven him mad. He tried to wake his people to wage war on humanity, but was thwarted by Namor. It was then that he found that his people had all died years ago. In a mad rage, Red Raven accidentally caused an explosion that killed him and engulfed the island.

Matthew Franklin Page (who would later change his last name to Murdock) was born to Karen Page (age 28) in San Francisco. The son of the blind superhero Matt Murdock was born seemingly normal, but as a teenager he would lose his sight and develop heightened senses and reflexes like his father.

After taking a leave of absence for the past two years, Sue Storm Richards (The Invisible Girl, age 33) returned to active duty with the Fantastic Four. Crystal, who had filled in for her during much of that time, also remained with the team, giving them five members.

July 1970

In the summer after graduating from college, Roy Harper, Jr. (Speedy, age 21) started experimenting with drugs. He would soon find himself addicted to heroin.

August 1970

In New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, former gang member Carl Lucas (b. 1950) was framed by his one-time friend Willis Stryker for a crime he didn’t commit. He was sentenced to serve time at Seagate Federal Prison off the coast of Georgia. There, he would become the favorite target of sadistic prison guard Albert Rakham.

Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton was released from prison.

September 1970

Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) entered the biochemistry Ph.D. program at Columbia University in New York.

Colleen Wing (b. 1952), who had been raised in Japan by her grandfather after the death of her mother, traveled to New York City to attend college at Columbia University, where her father Lee Wing taught Asian studies.

At age 20, Khan Noonien Singh began pursuing his Master of International Affairs degree at Columbia University.

On September 2, NASA announced it was cancelling the Apollo 18 and Apollo 19 missions, tentatively scheduled for 1973, due to budget cuts. That left the Apollo 17 mission, scheduled for December 1972, as the final moon landing.

October 1970

Biochemist Ted Sallis (age 46) began working on “Project Gladiator,” an OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) research project in a secret lab in the Florida Everglades to try to recreate the Super Soldier Serum that had given Captain America his powers. Sallis secretly used his prior discovery of the mutagenic SO-2 serum as the basis of his research.

On October 24, Dick Grayson, Jr. turned eight years old, and his uncle and legal guardian Bruce T. Wayne (Batman, age 24) finally agreed to begin training him to be the next Robin.

November 1970

During a fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, NYPD Captain George Stacy (age 48) was killed by falling debris while saving a child.

December 1970

Construction was completed on the North Tower of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, and it became the tallest building in the world.

The agents of Darkseid, ruler of the extradimensional planet Apokolips, first began to mobilize on Earth.

Suffering from an illness that required her to return to the Hidden Land of the Inhumans, Crystal retired from the Fantastic Four, returning the team to its original four-person roster.

1971

During his fourth tour of duty in Vietnam, USMC Capt. Frank Castiglione (age 24) was the only survivor (from either side) of a Viet Cong assault on Valley Forge Firebase. He returned home a decorated war hero, but he was suffering from PTSD and hearing voices in his head that told him that injustice must be punished.

James Hudson (age 27) had been working on a human exoskeleton project for the Am-Can Corporation in Canada, which he believed would be used as safety equipment for oil and gas exploration in dangerous environmental conditions. After discovering that the project was actually being developed for Am-Can’s subsidiary, Amertek Industries, to be turned into a weapon for the American military, Hudson destroyed all of the project’s research and stole the prototype suit. He expected to be imprisoned for his actions, but through her contacts in the Canadian government, his girlfriend Heather MacNeil (age 23) was able to convince Am-Can to drop the charges. In exchange, the Canadian government purchased the exoskeleton project from Am-Can. This became the basis of “Department H,” a new secret branch of the Canadian Department of National Defence, which James Hudson and Heather MacNeil were both asked to help found. Hudson threw himself into completing work on the exoskeleton project. Meanwhile, inspired by teams like the Fantastic Four in the U.S., the pair began searching for gifted individuals to recruit into Department H.

January 1971

The Challengers of the Unknown team disbanded.

In New York City, private detective John Shaft (age 28) was hired by gangster Bumpy Jonas to find and return his kidnapped daughter. [Shaft]

February 1971

Black Panther Party leaders Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver had a falling out. Newton expelled Cleaver and the entire international faction from the organization, which led to retaliatory violence and assassinations between each other’s supporters within the party. By the end of the year, hundreds of members had left the party.

The U.S. Apollo 14 mission (January 31-February 9) became the third to successfully land on the moon.

March 1971

Using a large, private grant, scientist Garrison Slate (b. 1941) founded Science and Technology Advanced Research Laboratories (S.T.A.R. Labs) in Palo Alto, California. Over the coming decades, the privately funded organization would establish itself as one of the leaders in the fields of extraterrestrial, metahuman and non-replicable scientific research, with branch locations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe.

Batman (Bruce T. Wayne, age 25) teamed up with the Titans for the first time since he left the team (as Robin) in 1969. At Batman’s request, the following Titans went undercover to infiltrate a gang operating in Boston: Lilith Clay (age 16), Mal Duncan (age 19), Donna Troy (a.k.a. Wonder Girl, age 19) and Wally West (a.k.a. Kid Flash, age 20). The Titans would join forces with Batman for to more missions before the original lineup dissolved in 1978.

April 1971

In the mystical city of K’un Lun, Daniel Rand (age 18) earned the opportunity to attain the power of the “Iron Fist” by fighting and defeating the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying, who guarded the molten heart that had been taken from its own body. During the battle, Rand threw himself against the scar on Shou-Lao’s chest, which burned a dragon tattoo into his own chest. After defeating Shou-Lao, Rand entered the dragon’s cave and plunged is fists into a brazier containing the craeture’s molten heart, emerging with the power of the Iron Fist. He thus became the latest in a long line of champions to wield this power as the Immortal Weapon of K’un Lun.

The Kree hero Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) used Reed Richards’ portal to travel to the Negative Zone, where he attempted to free his friend Rick Jones from the need to “share molecules” with him (where they would alternate between the same space, one on Earth and one trapped in the Negative Zone, until swapping). While there, Mar-Vell met the Skrull princess Annelle and conceived a child with her.
Takeshi Hongo (b. August 15, 1948), an extremely intelligent biochemistry student at Jounan University in Tokyo, was kidnapped by the ruthless terrorist organization “Shocker” (the Japanese wing of Hydra), which was brainwashing its victims and turning them into mutant cyborgs. However, Hongo escaped before the final brainwashing. Modified into a grasshopper-themed cyborg, Hongo fought his former captors as the superhero “Kamen Rider.”

May 1971

When his estranged wife Ellen Brandt (age 21) led A.I.M. to ambush his secret S.H.I.E.L.D. research project in the Florida Everglades, Dr. Ted Sallis (age 47) injected himself with the only sample of his reconstructed, “formula SO-2” based replication of the Super Soldier Serum. This mutated him and should have killed him. However, he was near the “Nexus of All Realities,” and its extradimensional energy transformed him into its new guardian—a creature that would soon become known as the “Man-Thing.” His intelligence rapidly fading, the Man-Thing slew the A.I.M. agents and burned half of Brandt’s face.

Bruce Wayne first met Ra’s al Ghul and his daughter Talia al Ghul. Despite becoming mortal enemies with her father, Wayne would have a complicated, on-again-off-again romantic relationship with Talia for the next three decades.

Lucius Fox (b. 1949) graduated magna cum laude from Yale University. In the fall, he would continue in the MBA program at the Yale School of Management.

June 1971

While a prisoner Department K’s Weapon X program, Logan (age 79) had adamantium forcibly grafted to his skeleton.

When his estranged wife Ellen Brandt (age 21) led A.I.M. to ambush his secret OSI research project in the Florida Everglades, Dr. Ted Sallis (age 47) injected himself with the only sample of his reconstructed, “formula SO-2” based replication of the Super Soldier Serum. This mutated him and should have killed him. However, he was near the “Nexus of All Realities,” and its extradimensional energy transformed him into its new guardian—a creature that would soon become known as the “Man-Thing.” His intelligence rapidly fading, the Man-Thing slew the A.I.M. agents and burned half of Brandt’s face. Shortly after all of this occurred, recent Ph.D. graduate Barbara “Bobbi” Morse (b. 1945) arrived in Florida to join the joined the OSI’s Project Gladiator team, and found herself in teh middle of a firestorm.

After an extended stay in the Negative Zone, the Kree hero Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) returned to Earth via Reed Richards’ portal in the Baxter Building in New York City. His use of the portal gave the entity Annihilus a chance to escape from the Negative Zone until the Avengers were able to drive him back in. The Avengers then caught up with Mar-Vell, who was suffering from a potentially lethal dose of radiation from his extended stay in the Negative Zone. With their aid, Mar-Vell was saved.

In Bavaria, Germany, the demonic-looking, blue-furred circus performer Kurt Wagner first demonstrated mutant (Homo sapiens superior) teleporting powers. Unlike most of his father’s children, Kurt soon proved a natural at teleporting and had no trouble passing through the Brimstone Dimension without becoming trapped in it.

On June 7, the Soviet Union launched Soyuz 11, the only manned mission to board the world’s first space station, Salyut 1. On board were four cosmonauts: Georgy Dobrovolsky (age 43), Viktor Patsayev (age 38), Vladislav Volkov (age 35) and Mikhail Rasputin (age 29). The mission departed the space station to return to Earth on June 30, but there was a secret secondary protocol to the mission. Soviet leaders knew that Rasputin was a mutant (Homo sapiens superior), and believed that by testing him under duress they could bring his powers to their full levels, allowing him to save himself and his crew. They released a valve that let the air in the crew’s cabin escape. Based on their previous observations of his abilities, mission control had expected Rasputin to reflexively teleport himself and his crew back to Earth. Instead, having not fully mastered his powers, he opened a portal to another universe, saving himself but not the other crew members, who died of asphyxiation in space. Not knowing what had happened to Rasputin, official reports of the incident would later claim that only three astronauts had been aboard the spacecraft. Meanwhile, Rasputin’s family, including his brother Nikolai (b. 1948), pregnant sister-in-law Alexandra (b. 1948) and ten-year-old nephew Piotr (b. May 1961), would only be told that he had died serving his country. [Note that Mikhail is originally said to be Piotr and Illyana's brother, but given the training he would need to be a cosmonaut, the age difference would be too great, so an uncle makes more sense. The Soyuz 11 disaster doesn't match his official origin story exactly, but as a real-world event it is a close match and a good fit thematically.]

July 1971

Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” ad first aired. Created by Donald Draper of advertising agency McCann-Erickson for a then-unheard of sum of $250,000, it featured the line “I’d like to by the world a Coke,” and became one of the most iconic pieces of advertising of all time.

Construction was completed on the South Tower of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, and it became the second tallest building in the world behind the North Tower.

The Avengers discovered that the Kree outlaw Ronan the Accuser was trying to use powerful transformative technology to “devolve” the Earth’s climate to a prehistoric state, more suitable for Kree biology, so that the planet could be used as a waystation in an impending war between the Kree and Skrull Empires. The Avengers fought with him until Ronan abandoned the struggle in order to return and defend the Kree homeworld Hala against a Skrull attack.
In New York City, Sam Wilson (a.k.a. Falcon, age 25) met Leila Taylor (age 25), who would soon become his long-time love interest.

Psychiatrist Leonard Skivorski (b. 1940) found his hair tunred green and his strength greatly magnified after being exposed to gamma radiation syphoned from Dr. Bruce Banner (The Hulk). He was nicknamed “Doc Samson.”

The Japanese terrorist organization Shocker (a branch of Hydra) decided to create a second Kamen Rider cyborg in order to combat the original, Hongo, who had escaped brainwashing and turned against them. However, Takeshi Hongo uncovered their plan and rescued the second Kamen Rider before he was brainwashed. Hayato Ichimonji (b. October 10, 1949), a freelancer cameraman, decided to use his new cyborg powers to help in Hongo’s battle against Shocker. While Hayato (Kamen Rider 2) continued the battle against Shocker within Japan, Hongo (Kamen Rider 1) pursued several agents who were attempting to transfer Shocker’s cyborg technology to other Cobra cells outside of Japan.

The U.S. Apollo 15 mission (July 26-August 7) became the fourth to successfully land on the moon. This mission had an expanded scientific scope and the crew stayed on the lunar surface longer and conducted more extra-vehicular activities than previous missions.

August 1971

Roy Harper, Jr. (Speedy, age 22) had become addicted to heroin. When his mentor, Oliver Queen (Green Arrow, age 29) found out, he confronted him about it, and his reaction was to punch Roy. The encounter would cause the two to have a falling out for years to come. With the help of Dinah Lance (Black Canary, age 18), Harper was eventually able to kick the habit and get clean again. While he still worked with the Teen Titans on occasion, he poured most of his energy into working as a counselor for teens with drug problems.

In an attempt to gain revenge on the Hulk, Amora the Enchantress briefly used mortal woman Samantha Parrington as the host of the spirit of “The Valkyrie,” the Asgardian known as Bunnhilde, former leader of the Valkyrior, whom Amora had entrapped and enslaved within a “magic crystal of souls” centuries prior.

While on an archaeological dig in Iraq, veteran Catholic priest Lankester Merrin found an amulet resembling Pazuzu, a demon who Merrin defeated years prior. Merrin then realized that the demon had returned to get his revenge. In fact, Pazuzu had possessed Regan MacNeil (b. 1959), the daughter of actress Chris MacNeil. While they were living on location for one of Chris’ film shoots in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., Regan began acting strangely and aggressively. Regan then killed her babysitter and Chris’ director, Burke Dennings. As various people began to believe the girl may be possessed, a young priest and psychiatrist named Damien Karras became involved in the case. Karras eventually decided to perform an exorcism, with Merrin chosen to help. The exorcism ultimately succeeds, but at the cost of both men’s lives. [The Exorcist]

September 1971

The Texas Instruments TMS 1000 became the first functional, 4-bit microprocessor. Around the same time, Garrett AiResearch developed their own microprocessor for the U.S. Navy, called the Central Air Data Computer (CADC). Neither of these was made available commercially at this time.

Reacting to the Kree attack, the U.S. government formed an “Alien Activities Commission” calling for the arrest and interment of every extraterrestrial on U.S. soil. Superman (age 51 in Earth years) and Supergirl (age 27 in Earth years) both submitted to quarantine during this time, but many other aliens simply traveled off-world. Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four and Avengers both testified before the Commission opposing these tactics, and the latter refused to hand over the Kree known as Mar-Vell.

October 1971

As NASA had determined that a rare alignment of the Outer Planets would give them a rare opportunity to use gravity assists to explore the Solar System, they began planning for this “Grand Tour” mission. Originally, the flights were to be part of the Mariner space program, but they were soon deemed to be a completely new project, which was eventually named “Voyager.” The Voyager spacecraft would be constructed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, California.

The Avengers were attacked by Skrulls. Mar-Vell and some of the Avengers were abducted by them and taken off-planet. After the remaining Avengers recovered, they traveled to Attilan, where they helped Black Bolt retake the throne from his brother Maximus, who had stolen it after entering into an alliance with the Kree. They then used Inhuman technology to travel into space in pursuit of the Skrulls that abducted their companions.
The Black Widow (Natalia “Natasha” Romanova, age 32) left S.H.I.E.L.D. and struck out on her own.

November 1971

The Intel 4004 became the first commercially available, 4-bit microprocessor.

John Rambo, Delmore Barry and several others were captured after their U.S. Army Special Forces unit came under surprise attack from North Vietnamese forces. They were held in a POW camp and repeatedly tortured.

Mar-Vell and the other captives were taken to the heart of the Skrull Empire. There, Mar-Vell was forced to build a Kree weapon called an “Omni-Wave Projector” for his captors, or else the other captives would be killed. The Avengers arrived in Skrull space, and held off the alien fleet while Mar-Vell was forced to use the Projector, which cast a temporarily freed Rick Jones back into the Negative Zone. Jones was rescued from the Zone by Kree leader the Supreme Intelligence, which then unlocked hidden mental powers in Jones, allowing him to end the war.
Dr. Henry Pym switched from his “Yellowjacket” alias back to his original “Ant-Man” costumed persona.

December 1971

The Defenders team was formed when Dr. Strange asked his allied Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Hulk for aid in stopping a doomsday device. The three agreed to help each other in the future, and the “Defenders” name was born, although the Hulk disagreed that this made them any kind of a team.

British secret agent James Bond stopped his arch nemesis Blofeld from constructing a satellite laser. Blofeld was killed in the confrontation and would be replaced by a new “Number 1” within SPECTRE after this: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon.

Guy Gardner (age 30), the reserve Green Lantern of Sector 2814, was seriously injured while trying to save a pedestrian from being struck by a car. The Guardians of the Universe chose architect and U.S. Marine Corps veteran John Stewart (b. October 17, 1945) of Detroit, Michigan to be the new back-up to Hal Jordan (age 35). At first, Jordan was opposed to Stewart’s selection, his first impression being that Stewart had a belligerent attitude toward authority. However, Stewart soon proved himself to be an excellent recruit and gained Jordan’s respect. Unlike Gardner, who had never been called on, Stewart would fill in for Jordan many times over the coming years. [Stewart's birthdate taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

San Francisco Police Department inspector Harry Callahan (a.k.a. “Dirty Harry”), a cop known for operating at the edge of the law killed Charles Davis, the “Scorpio” serial killer.

In Palo Alto, California, an experiment at S.T.A.R. Labs accidentally spawned a giant, protoplasmic algae creature. Superman assisted in neutralizing the threat.

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was fought December 3–16.

On Friday, December 24, Spider-Man stopped a pair of muggers from stealing Christmas presents from Misty Knight (b. 1950). The incident would inspire Knight to apply to the police academy, from which she would graduate at the top of her class. [Marvel Team-Up #1]

1972

Young genius Alexander Luthor (age 20) dropped out of Stanford University to found the startup engineering company LexCorp in San Jose, California. Over time, it would evolve into a major corporation holding numerous lucrative government and civil aerospace contracts.

Richard Drakunovski (b. 1953), a teenage thief and drifter, tried to break into a dojo near Kyoto, Japan to steal a precious jade Buddha. He was caught by one of the dojo’s students, Ben Turner. The dojo’s master, O-Sensei, saw something in Drakunovski and decided to train him side-by-side with his star pupil Turner. Drakunovski would soon change his name to “Richard Dragon.”

A crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Calling themselves “The A-Team,” they survived as soldiers of fortune, solving unique problems where no one else could help. The four men, who had served together in Vietnam, were: Lt. Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, Lt. Templeton “Face” Peck, Capt. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock, and Sergeant First Class Bosco Albert “B.A.” (or “Bad Attitude”) Baracus.

January 1972

ANSA, an alternative to NASA founded by Dr. Emery Zackro (age 73) and funded by private business, launched the experimental spacecraft Icarus, intended to be mankind’s first interstellar mission. However, contact with the craft was almost immediately lost, along with its crew of four astronauts, causing the mission to be labeled a failure and ANSA to end its operations. Its assets would be acquired by the newly opened Chicago office of S.T.A.R. Labs. Dr. Zackro was offered a job at S.T.A.R. Labs, but turned it down. Dejected and sullen from the failure of the Icarus, he would pass away just a few months later. [This uses some DC Comics lore to not only set up Planet of the Apes, but also to set the stage for Star Trek: The Motion Picture by getting S.T.A.R. Labs Chicago in the space research business so they can acquire Voyager 6.]

The group known as the Illuminati was formed on Earth, consisting of: Blackagar Boltagon (Black Bolt, age 40), Namor of Atlantis (age 51), Ray Palmer (The Atom, age 37), Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic, age 45), Tony Stark (Iron Man, age 32), Stephen Strange (Doctor Strange, age 59), Bruce Thomas Wayne (Batman, age 25) and Charles Xavier (Professor X, age 37). They traveled to the seats of the Kree and Skrull Empires and advised the aliens that involving Earth in their wars would not be tolerated.

After being bombarded by an intense burst of gamma radiation, Doc Samson (Dr. Leonard Skivorski, age 31) lost his super strength and was returned to normal. He would continue to work with Dr. Bruce Banner (The Hulk) over the coming months and years.

Shortly after midnight on January 1, the luxury liner SS Poseidon, enjoy route from New York City to Athens, was overturned by a tidal wave caused by a subsea earthquake. There were few survivors. [The Poseidon Adventure]

On January 30, the British Army killed 14 unarmed, nationalist civil rights marchers in Derry, Northern Ireland. The event would become known as “Bloody Sunday.”

February 1972

Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina was born to Nikolai Grigorievich Rasputin and his wife Alexandra in the Ust-Ordynski Collective farm, near Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia.

From February 21-28, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon made an unprecedented visit to the People’s Republic of China and met with its leader Mao Zedong.

March 1972

At Seagate Federal Prison in Georgia, inmate Carl Lucas volunteered to be part of an experimental “cell regeneration” program run by research scientist Dr. Noah Burstein, who had been the one person to believe in his innocence. The experiment was based on low-level doses of the compounds used in the “super-soldier” program of World War II. However, the experiment was sabotaged by prison guard Albert Rackham, who harbored a vendetta against Lucas. Hoping to maim or kill Lucas, Rackham accelerated the treatment past its intended limits. This induced changes in Lucas that endowed him with super-human strength, endurance and durability. Using his new powers, he escaped from the prison and returned to New York.

When K’un Lun reappeared in Earth’s dimension again after ten years, Daniel Rand (age 19) decided he must leave and return to the U.S. to find his father’s killer.

Kamen Rider 1 (Takeshi Hongo, age 23) returned to Japan where he began working side by side with Kamen Rider 2 (Hayato Ichimonji, age 22) to take down Shocker, the Japanese wing of the international terrorist organization Hydra.

Dr. Hank McCoy (the former X-Men alumnus known as “Beast,” age 25) developed a chemical formula that caused him to further mutate. He now appeared more ape-like, covered head-to-toe in gray fur. [Amazing Adventures Vol. 2 #11]

April 1972

The campaign of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon began enacting secret plans to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Astronaut Col. Steve Austin of the U.S. Air Force was injured in a horrible accident when his experimental landing craft crashed during tests. At a reported cost of six million dollars, the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) rebuilt Austin, replacing both legs, his right arm and his left eye with cybernetic parts under the direction of the nation’s leading bio-cybernetics (“bionics”) expert, Dr. Rudy Wells (age 44), using components developed by the OSI’s robotics laboratory in Stockton, California. At this time, Austin’s sister Mary became the full-time legal guardian of his son Michael.

The High Evolutionary began to sense that Counter-Earth was going awry under the influence of the evil Man-Beast. He asked Warlock (the artificial being formerly known as “Him”) to intervene, and gave him the Soul Gem to aid him in his task.

As Warlock received the Soul Gem, a corrupted part of his soul was released and became its own entity. This entity traveled to a distant part of the Mily Way galaxy, where he fulfilled the 5,000-year-old prophecy of the Universal Church of Truth foretlling “the coming of Magus.”

The Intel 8008 became the first commercially available, 8-bit microprocessor.

The U.S. Apollo 16 mission (April 16-27) became the fifth to successfully land on the moon.

May 1972

John Rambo and Delmore Barry, the last two surviving members of their U.S. Army Special Forces unit, escaped from the North Vietnamese POW camp where they had been imprisoned and tortured for the past six months.

Khan Noonien Singh (age 22) completed his Master of International Affairs degree at Columbia University and returned to India, where he secretly began establishing his power base.

On May 2, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover died at age 77.

The Magnavox Odyssey, the first commercially available video game console, was released on May 24.

In late May, the first attempts were made by White House Operatives to burglarize the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.

June 1972

In New York City, a chance encounter with criminals inspired Carl Lucas (age 22) to use his new powers for good. Adopting a distinct costume and the alias “Luke Cage,” he began renting himself out as a “Hero for Hire.”

On June 17, five White House operatives were arrested for burglarizing the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The ensuing scandal would eventually force Richard M. Nixon to resign the U.S. Presidency.

July 1972

Kamen Riders 1 and 2 killed high-ranking Shocker leader Ambassador Hell, crippling the Japanese wing of the terrorist organization Hydra. Determined to fight on, Great Leader merged Shocker with a Hydra cell from the U.S. called Geldam, creating Gel-Shocker. The new organization was even more ruthless than the previous one and pursued the Kamen Riders with a vengeance.

Disenchanted after a recent stint with the Avengers, the former freedom-fighter turned villain turned hero known as the Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne, age 46) left the United States and traveled to Vietnam, where he hoped to find work as a soldier of fortune. There, he met prostitute and barmaid Bọ Ngựa (“Mantis”), who became his friend and helped him regain his self-respect.

Realizing that the Fourth Host of the Celestials was drawing nigh, the Elder Goddess Gaea revealed to Odin that she had spent the past millennium gathering nine of the most exemplary human beings to present. Believing that the Celestials would prefer an even dozen examples, Odin sent the Asgardians Heimdall and Kamorr on a quest to find three additional noble and worthy human beings.

August 1972

British secret agent James Bond (age 42) married former diamond smuggler Tiffany Case, who was pregnant with his child. The couple retired to Skyfall, their estate in Scotland, under assumed names. Former-thief-turned-agent Simon Templar (a.k.a. “The Saint,” age 35) was then assigned to the Double-O section of the British Secret Service, where he was assigned Bond’s former number 007. Because of Templar’s past criminal history, it was decided that Templar would adopt Bond’s name as well as his number.

Johnny Blaze (b. 1952), a motorcycle-riding stunt daredevil, discovered that his mentor Craig "Crash" Simpson (b. 1929) was dying of inoperable cancer. Desperate to save his life, he turned to the occult and made a deal with the demon Mephisto to cure Simpson’s cancer in return for Blaze’s soul. Simpson’s cancer was cured, but immediately afterward the veteran showman was killed during a motorcycle stunt. Mephisto claimed that he had kept his part of the bargain and came to Blaze to claim his soul, but Simpson’s daughter Roxanne (b. 1953) intervened. Roxanne was in love with Blaze and the purity of her emotion was able to free Blaze from his obligation. However, as an act of revenge, Mephisto bonded Blaze with the demon Zarathos. Johnny was transformed into a “Ghost Rider,” a spectral spirit of vengeance, and forced to punish the wicked and evil upon Mephisto’s demands. Although Zarathos took control of his body, Blaze did not completely lose his free in the transformation, and would use his new powers to also help the innocent when they were in danger.

The Asgardians Heimdall and Kamorr found the first person on their quest: 26-year-old fashion designer Jason Kimball from Harlem, New York.

The Grim Reaper (Eric Williams) stole the still comatose body of his brother Wonder Man (Simon Williams) from the Avengers compound, where he had been receiving medical care.

In Chicago, recently widowed Greer Grant Nelson (b. 1952) was contacted by her old University of Chicago physics professor Dr. Joanne Tumulo about returning to college. (She had quit school to marry police officer Bill Nelson, who had subsequently been killed in action.) At first, Greer wasn’t sure about returning, but she soon entered a healthy debate with Tumulo about the parameters of her experiment on human potential, arguing that Tumulo did not have the proper controls in place. She then volunteered for the experiment, expecting to be placed in the control group, but instead received the experimental treatments as well. These awakened hidden metahuman potential inside her and endowed her with extraordinary physical and mental capabilities. Calling herself “The Cat,” she soon felt the lure of using her new abilities to fight crime.

September 1972

The Asgardians Heimdall and Kamorr found the remaining two people for their quest: 24-year-old Israeli soldier Carter Dyam, and 19-year-old Japanese farm woman Chi Lo.

William Burnside (the imposter “Captain America” of the 1950s) and James Monroe (the imposter “Bucky”) were released after serving 19 years in prison. Thanks to the super-soldier serum in their systems, they were still relatively young and vibrant physically. Having been brainwashed by Doctor Faustus while in prison, Burnside became “The Grand Director,” leader of a Neo-Nazi group called “The National Force,” and tried to kill the real Captain America and his new partner, The Falcon.

The mutant known as Beast (Dr. Hank McCoy) further mutated, his recently gained fur now turning blue. [Amazing Adventures Vol. 2 #14]

In Munich, in the early morning hours of September 5, 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the Palestinian group Black September. Two of the prisoners were killed in the first moments, and the rest were massacred by the terrorists during a botched rescue attempted later that evening.

October 1972

Working in a secret OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) facility located in the swamplands near Houma, Louisiana, married biochemists Alec (b. 1948) and Linda (b. 1949) Holland developed a “bio-restorative formula” that they believed could be used to solve any nation’s food shortage problems. However, a mole in the organization leaked news of their breakthrough to the criminal organization HYDRA, which hired crime boss Nathan Ellery to steal it. Breaking into the lab, his thugs knocked Alec unconscious, stole his research notes and planted a bomb. Alec awoke just as the bomb exploded. Drenched in the bio-restorative formula and on fire from the explosion, Alec stumbled out of the building, sank into the swamp and died. However, the bio-restorative formula affected the vegetation around him, causing it to replicate his body and mind. He thus soon rose again, in a monstrous new body but with his memories and consciousness fully restored. He had become the new “Swamp Thing.”

A few days later, seeking to tie up any loose ends, Ellery’s men tracked down and murdered Holland’s wife Linda. The Swamp Thing caught up with them too late, and upon discovering his wife’s murder, he slew the murderer. OSI agent Matt Cable (b. 1944), a friend of Alec and Linda, had also been on the trail of the criminals, but when he got to the scene, he mistakenly thought that the Swamp Thing had killed Linda, not realizing that this was his friend transformed.

After the Green Arrow (Oliver Queen, age 30) accidentally killed a man named Richard Hollinger, he ended his crime fighting career and went to live in the Ashram, an isolated monastery in California, to seek redemption and inner peace. While there, he studied Zen and Kyudo discipline for several months, and a monk named Master Jansen taught Queen to accept his destiny as Green Arrow.

Dr. Kozaburō Nambu (b. 1924), a former Japanese Science Patrol agent now working as a scientist for U.N.C.L.E., used his position and resources to organize a group of Japanese teenagers into the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (sometimes referred to as “G-Force”). The group’s mission was to combat the threat of a new terrorist organization known as “Galactor,” using their precision ninja training and high-tech mech vehicles. The team consisted of Dr. Nambu’s adopted children Jun “The Swan” (b. 1956) and Jinpei “The Swallow” (b. 1961), as well as Ken “The Eagle” Washiro (b. 1954), Jō “The Condor” Asakura (b. 1954), and Ryū “The Owl” Nakanishi (b. 1955). Galactor, meanwhile, was commanded by Berg Katse (a.k.a. Zoltar, b. 1943), a mutant shape-shifter who reported to the would-be alien conqueror Sōsai X.

November 1972

At age 21, Sylvester Pemberton, Jr. (b. 1951) took up his father’s mantle and became the new Star-Spangled Kid.

Rookie New York City police officer Misty Knight (age 22) saved the life of Columbia University college student Colleen Wing (age 20) during a shootout between police and criminals in Manhattan. Knight would receive accolades for her heroism in the crisis, and the two women would become fast friends.

December 1972

Research scientist Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Morse (age 27) became an agent of SHIELD, assigned the call number “Agent 19.”

The U.S. Apollo 17 mission (December 7-19) became the sixth to successfully land on the moon. Apollo 17 was scheduled to be the final lunar landing. In the closing days of the program, Apollo 17 Lunar Module pilot Harrison Schmitt aggressively lobbied for a manned landing on the far side of the Moon. Publicly, NASA administrators rejected these plans based on lack of funding and added risk. Privately, however, the Office of Scientific Intelligence had discovered information leading them to believe that the Soviets were planning just such a mission. It was decided that Apollo 18 would proceed, but as a covert mission.

1973

Five years after construction started on Hancock Place (commonly known as the John Hancock Tower) in Boston, every single windowpane (10,344 of them) had to be replaced, as the blue reflective glass was known for detaching and crashing to the sidewalk below in high winds. During the replacing process, sheets of plywood replaced the empty windows and the locals named the skyscraper the “Plywood Palace.” During this time, the vulnearble structure posed a defensive problem for Batman, as it became a frequent target of villains.

In Mumbai, India, mentally disabled teenager Rohit Mehra (b. 1955) gained enhanced intelligence and physical powers after befriending an alien, whom he named “Jadoo.” [Koi… Mil Gaya]

January 1973

James Bond, Jr. was born in Scotland.

At the Mount Wundagore citadel in northwestern Bulgaria, the High Evolutionary (Herbert Wyndham, age 57) awakened Jessica Drew from her decades-long suspended animation, finally convinced that the spider-blood serum in her system had cured her of the mysterious radiation sickness that had almost killed her. She had been 12 years old when she fell ill in 1952, but had aged slowly and was now biologically equivalent to a 17-year-old. To ease her back into the world, Wyndham tried to integrate her with his “New Men,” but they would not accept her, finding her to be too human. Feeling confused and alone, she soon ran away.

I-Ching was killed by a sniper. As he died in Diana’s arms, he told her that the power of Wonder Woman was still within her and that it was time for it to again emerge. Diana (age 51) then traveled back to Themyscira (a.k.a. “Paradise Island”) and reclaimed her Wonder Woman outfit, tiara, gauntlets, sandals and the Lasso of Truth.

After a disagreement about how to handle their four-year-old son Franklin’s emerging powers, Sue Storm Richards (The Invisible Girl, age 35) quit the Fantastic Four and separated from her husband Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic, age 46).

On January 15, Nixon announced the suspension of offensive action against North Vietnam.

On January 22, in the case of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that that a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.

The Paris Peace Accords on “Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam” were signed on January 27, officially ending direct U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. A cease-fire was declared across North and South Vietnam and U.S. prisoners of war were released. The agreement guaranteed the territorial integrity of Vietnam and, like the Geneva Conference of 1954, called for national elections in the North and South. The Paris Peace Accords stipulated a sixty-day period for the total withdrawal of U.S. forces.

February 1973

The Challengers of the Unknown team temporarily regrouped.

To help her then-allies, the Defenders, escape from the sorceress Casiolena, Amora the Enchantress again called upon the spirit of Brunnhilde, “The Valkyrie,” whom she had entrapped and enslaved within a magic crystal of souls centuries prior. Brunnhilde’s consciousness and power was placed into the body of the mortal woman Barbara Norriss. Amora did not undo her spell after Casiolena’s defeat, and Brunnhilde remained in control of Norriss’ body, while Norriss’ spirit remained trapped in Brunnhilde’s within the crystal of souls. Unable to return home and uncertain what to do next, the Valkyrie became a member of the Defenders.

After a confrontation with Iron Man, Thanos caused the self-destruction of his base in the Nevada desert in order to conceal his secrets.

The Teen Titans went on hiatus when their benefactor, “Mr. Jupiter,” was no longer able to provide financial support. In reality Mr. Jupiter was an alias for Dr. Michael Martin, Director of the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), which had concluded its research into the psychology of superheroes and decided to divert its spending into other arenas, including cybernetic technology.

Kamen Riders 1 and 2 finally defeated the Hydra cell Gel-Shocker and brought its reign of terror to an end in Japan. The remnants of Gel-Shocker would return to its roots in the United States, where it still had a secret complex in Springfield, Oregon under the auspices of the Cobra Corporation. Working through pyramid schemes and other semi-legitimate business plans, this dummy corporation had become quite successful at laundering money for the terrorists. Severing its ties with Hydra, its leaders renamed the group Cobra Command and struck out on their own, using their new economic power to recruit from within the United States and around the globe.

Johnny Storm (The Human Torch, age 27) traveled to Attilan, home of the Inhumans, to ask Crystal (age 25) to rejoin the Fantastic Four now that Sue had quit the team. However, Crystal was now dating Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver, age 26), and declined. Instead, Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans, asked his cousin, longtime Fantastic Four associate Medusa (age 37), to join the team.

March 1973

After a long recovery from his injuries and adapting to life as a cyborg, Steve Austin began working as an OSI agent.

Logan managed to break free of the intense brainwashing the Weapon X program had used on him. Falling into a berserker rage, he massacred the staff at the Department K facility where he was being held and escaped. Following this, Department K suspended the Weapon X program. However, its director Andre Thornton had disappeared and would continue his research at a secret laboratory in Alberta, Canada. Logan, meanwhile, was subsequently discovered wandering in the wild by James and Heather Hudson, who were following up on reports of a strange “beast-man.” They nurtured him and over the next several months would help him regain his humanity, although he still could not remember much of his past.

New York City police officer Misty Knight lost her arm while preventing a terrorist bomb attack of Stark International. In gratitude, Tony Stark personally pledged to her that he would replace her arm and oversee her recuperation.

April 1973

While on leave from the U.S. Marine Corps with his family in New York City, Capt. Frank Castiglione took his wife and two small children to Central Park. The family happened upon the scene of a mob killing on the Sheep’s Meadow green in the park. Fearing witnesses, the mobsters murdered Castiglione’s family in cold blood and escaped. Castiglione managed to survive the attack but was deeply traumatized by the incident. He was going to testify in court to identify the shooters, but soon realized that many of the police and judges connected with the case were on the payroll of the Mafia. He decided not to return to Marine duty. He quickly established a fake identity as “Frank Castle” and then began working to bring his family’s killers to justice. Over the summer, Castle would use his combat and special-ops experience to track down and kill everyone responsible. He then turned his sights on crime in general, again displaying deadly force. With his trademark “death’s head” insignia, he soon began to strike fear in New York’s criminal community, who took to calling him “The Punisher.”

Tony Stark was able to persuade Dr. James Bradley (age 63), head of the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence’s robotics laboratory in Stockton, California, to leave the OSI and venture back into the private sector. Upon Dr.  Bradley’s departure, the OSI put Dr. Oliver Broadhurst in charge of its Stockton robotics laboratory.

Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny, age 33) joined the Justice League.

Magneto fought the X-Men and Avengers, but was defeated and found himself entrapped deep within the Earth.

The twin towers of the World Trade Center officially opened in New York City on April 4.

May 1973

Having escaped his underground entrapment, Magneto began making his way through Subterranea to return again to the surface world. While still deep underground, he would discover ancient, alien technology, which he would spend the next several months studying.

Working for Stark International, a team led by robotics expert Dr. James Bradley began building a bionic arm to replace the one New York City police officer Misty Knight had lost preventing a terrorist attack on Stark International.

Lucius Fox (age 24) earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management. Afterward, he took a position at Atwater Air. He would soon worked his way to the top of the company as he turned it around from near-bankruptcy to a great success story. He would then find himself in high demand, as other companies began seeking his “Midas Touch” to turn their businesses around.

The Black Widow (Natalia “Natasha” Romanova, age 34), a former enemy of The Avengers, was welcomed into their ranks as an official member.

Construction of the Sears Tower (later known as the Willis Tower) was completed in Chicago, making it the new tallest building in the world.

Watergate hearings opened on May 17 before the United States Senate Watergate Committee.

June 1973

Gwen Stacy (age 26) died after the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn, age 48) threw her from the Brooklyn Bridge. Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 26) had attempted to save her, but her neck snapped as he caught her. In their next encounter, the Green Goblin tried to impale Spider-Man with his glider, but accidentally killed himself with it instead. However, his son Harry Osborn (age 26) secretly witnessed the battle. Wanting to protect his father's identity, he stripped Norman Osborn’s body of the Green Goblin costume to hide. Blaming Spider-Man for his father’s “murder,” Harry swore vengeance.

New York private detective John Shaft (age 31) was hired for a mission to infiltrate and dismantle a human trafficking and slavery ring in West Africa and France. [Shaft in Africa]

The Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne, age 47) decided to again return to the U.S. from Vietnam and apply for membership to the Avengers. His new friend Bọ Ngựa (“Mantis,” age 24) accompanied him.

July 1973

A Shaolin master from Hong Kong named Lee was invited to enter an exclusive martial arts contest on a secret island, organized by the mysterious Mr. Han. Lee was then recruited by British intelligence to gather evidence on criminal wrongdoing, and the martial arts contest became a fight to the death between Lee and Han. [Enter the Dragon]

Dr. Henry Pym (Ant-Man, age 39) gave up costumed adventuring, although he continued to work with various heroes and organizations as a scientific consultant. His wife Janet (Wasp, age 35) also gave up her secret life of crime-fighting, and the couple began trying to have a baby.

Blade (Eric Brooks, age 43) was forced to mercy-kill his mentor Jamal Afari (age 66) when the latter was turned into a vampire by Dracula. Blade then tracked Dracula back to Europe, beginning a long, ongoing battle between the two.

The Challengers of the Unknown team temporarily disbanded again.

August 1973

After helping the Avengers battle the Lion God, the Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) and Mantis (Bọ Ngựa) became the group’s newest members.

Frankenstein’s monster was discovered in the wreckage of a Nazi plane, where it had crashed in the arctic in 1945. It was put on display in a traveling circus “freak show.”

Korea and Vietnam veteran Lt. Col. Slade Wilson (age 37) was chosen for a secret experiment. In conjunction with the Office of Scientific Intelligence’s Project Gladiator program, the U.S. Army injected him with a serum intended to stimulate his adrenal function and enhance him into a “super soldier.” The experiment did not go as planned, as Wilson fell into a coma.

The new bionic arm built for Misty Knight was successfully attached in a multimillion dollar surgery paid for personally by Tony Stark,

September 1973

After 12 years of education and practice as an accredited psychologist in the United States, Jericho Drumm (b. 1934 in Port-au-Prince) returned to his native Haiti to visit his twin brother Daniel. There, he discovered that Daniel, the local houngan (voodoo priest), was dying due to a curse placed in him by a voodoo sorcerer claiming to be possessed by the spirit of the serpent-god Damballah. Just before he died, Daniel made his brother vow to visit Daniel’s mentor, Papa Jambo. Jericho does, and became Jambo’s student. After studying under the aged houngan for several weeks, Jericho gained a greater mastery of voodoo practices than his own brother, becoming a houngan in his own right. Papa Jambo then performed a rite that summoned Daniel’s spirit from the dead and joined it with Jericho’s own. Having fashioned a worthy successor, Papa Jambo then died. Taking the name “Brother Voodoo,” Jericho challenged the sorcerer who killed his brother and destroyed Damballah’s cult. He then continued to be Haiti’s champion and supreme houngan.

Still shaken from the death of his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) took a leave of absence from the Ph.D. program at Columbia University.

Frankenstein’s monster revived and escaped from the circus where it was on display.

In Louisiana, Thanos finally obtained the Cosmic Cube. Returning to his home base on Saturn’s moon Titan, he used its power to increase his own to god-like levels.

After five and a half years of ruling from afar while actively fighting crime around the world as an Avenger, T’Challa (age 29), the Black Panther, returned to Wakanda to find his kingdom on the verge of civil war. After defeating would-be usurper Erik Killmonger and his minions, T’Challa would continue to travel abroad, but would never again leave Wakanda for long.

The Avengers battled the Defenders for possession of the Evil Eye. Eventually, the two teams realized they were pawns of Loki and Dormammu and worked together to stop the Earth from being absorbed into the Dark Dimension.

October 1973

Betty Ross (age 32) was exposed to gamma radiation by the villain MODOK and temporarily became the creature “Harpy.” Although she was soon cured of the transformation’s outward effects, she would continue to experience latent effects—some good, such as prolonged youth and vitality, and some bad, such as a recurrence of radiation sickness many years later that threatened to kill her.

Paul Kirk (the former Manhunter) was awoken from suspended animation after 25 years. During that time, a secret organization known as “The Council” altered his genetic structure so he could heal quickly from most wounds. Once revived, he was taught martial arts and turned into an agent of the Council, leading an enforcement team consisting of his own clones.

On her own away from the High Evolutionary and Mount Wundagore, Jessica Drew soon discovered that the decades she had spent incubating the irradiated spider serum in her body had left her with super powers, including extraordinary strength, agility and stamina, as well as the ability to discharge bursts of bio-energy. The open use of her powers soon in Eastern Europe soon brought her to the attention of HYDRA, which captured and began brainwashing her as a special agent under the code name “Arachne.”

November 1973

At the age of 27, Bruce Thomas Wayne, the current Batman, met an elderly Kent Allard (age 81), the man who had fought crime decades prior as “The Shadow” (1931-1949) and had served as an inspiration to his father, Bruce Anthony Wayne, the first Batman. [Batman #253]

December 1973

The U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) began working on a project to build their second bionic man. After reviewing several applicants, they eventually chose Mike Power (b. 1949), who had been born with under-developed limbs.

After more than three months, Slade Wilson awoke from his coma. During this time, his body had indeed reacted to the super-soldier serum, and he had gained heightened strength, speed, agility, stamina and reflexes. However, he had also become belligerent and suffered from depression. Although he reapplied for active duty, he was deemed unfit for service and was discharged from the Army.

After killing a man named Dr. Petrie, whom he had been told was an enemy of his family, young Kung Fu master Shang-Chi (b. 1951 in China’s Hunan province) discovered the true, evil nature of his father, Fu Manchu. He then swore to oppose his father and evil men like him forever more, and became a special agent of British intelligence agency MI-6.

1974

After his parents were brutally murdered, a three-year-old boy named Dexter was adopted by Miami, Florida police officer Harry Morgan. [Dexter]

On the Shi’ar Imperial Throneworld of Chandilar in the Triangulum Galaxy, the human teenager known as Vul (Gabriel Summers, age 15) developed the mutant (Homo sapiens superior) power to psionically channel energy. A slave in the house of Shakari, he would use his newfound powers to escape. As a fugitive, he soon began building a career as a criminal.

At age 25, Roy Harper (Speedy) began having a relationship with a woman named Cathy Douglas, an actress and a recovering addict like himself. Douglas soon became pregnant with his son, whom they named Roy William Harper III (b. 1975). While the couple drifted apart, Roy stayed close with his son, seeing him on the weekends and teaching him archery whenever he could. In the meantime, Roy started working as a special agent for the ATF, a job which took him all around the U.S.

On the orders of corrupt businessman Guano Cravat, the contract killer known as “The Swiss” murdered Carolyn Wu-San (b. 1957), one of the students at O-Sensei’s dojo near Kyoto, Japan. The assassin was then killed in a confrontation with another student, Richard Dragon (age 21). Afterward, the dojo’s teacher, O-Sensei, told Dragon and fellow student Ben Turner (age 22) that their instruction was complete and it was time for them to return to the U.S. Meanwhile, Guano Cravat deceived Carolyn Wu-San’s sister, Sandra (b. 1959) into thinking that Richard Dragon had killed Carolyn. Sandra was a martial arts prodigy, and Cravat had her trained to become a deadly assassin in order to use her to seek revenge against Dragon.

January 1974

With the encouragement of James and Heather Hudson, Logan became the first agent of Canada’s Department H, a top-secret program to develop a superhuman response force. He was given the codename “Wolverine.”

Having recovered from the surgery that replaced her lost arm with a bionic one, Misty Knight returned to the New York police department. Although her new prosthetic arm worked as well or better than her original arm had, she soon learned that she would no longer be able to serve in the field. Disappointed, she would soon resign rather than accepting a permanent desk job.

On January 20, driver Barney Hiller lost control of his race car and crashed on a wet track during the Winston Western 500 in Riverside, California. He was badly injured, losing both arms and both legs. At a reported cost of seven million dollars, the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) rebuilt Hiller with cybernetic parts.

February 1974

New York University biology professor Miles Warren became “The Jackal” in order to exact revenge on Spider-Man, whom he blamed for the death of his former student Gwen Stacy.

In Wakanda, Black Panther (King T’Challa, age 30) outfitted Falcon (Sam Wilson, age 27) with a flight harness and artificial wings. Falcon used them for the first time to rescue his girlfriend Leila Taylor (age 27), who had been kidnapped.

Believing him to be a criminal, former Marine turned vigilante Frank Castle (a.k.a. “The Punisher,” age 27) tried to kill Spider-Man.

On February 4, newspaper heiress Patty Hearst (b. 1954) was kidnapped by a domestic terrorist group known as the Symbionese Liberation Army.

March 1974

Soon after returning from her trip to Africa, Leila Taylor discovered that she was pregnant with Sam Wilson’s baby.

Former New York City police officer Misty Knight opened her own private detective agency, “Nightwing Restorations Ltd.” After her best friend Colleen Wing graduated from college, she would eventually join as Knight’s partner.

April 1974

The USSR secretly launched its first manned LK lunar lander mission, with a combination of scientific and military objectives. After the spacecraft touched down, the cosmonauts were attacked and killed by crab-like aliens.

On April 3, newspaper heiress Patty Hearst announced by audiotape that she had joined the terrorist organization that had kidnapped her, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and changed her name to Tania. (Many believe her to have been a victim of Stockholm Syndrome.) On April 15, she was photographed assisting the SLA rob a bank in San Francisco, and a warrant was soon issued for her arrest.

May 1974

After the failure of their secret moon mission, the USSR cancelled its manned lunar program (their first public launch had been planned for August) and diverted funds into the development of space stations.

After a spiritual journey around the world, Daniel Rand (age 21) arrived in New York City dressed in the ceremonial garb of the Iron Fist. There, he confronted his father’s killer, Harold Meachum (age 51). Finding Meachum crippled and apologetic for his past crimes, Daniel decided to have mercy. However, Meachum was killed by a ninja attempting to frame Daniel for murder.

Mike Power (age 25) became the third man to receive cybernetic limb implants from the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI). He also had one poorly functioning eye replaced.

June 1974

The remains of a young woman named Chrissie Watkins was discovered on the beach on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The medical examiner informed the local sheriff, Martin Brody, that she had been killed by a shark. Brody made plans to close the beaches but was overruled by Mayor Larry Vaughan, who noted that the town had never had shark problems and feared that reports of a shark attack would ruin the summer tourist season, the island’s primary source of income. A short time later, a boy named Alex Kintner was killed by a shark at the beach. When a large tiger shark was caught by fishermen, townspeople believed the problem was solved, but marine biologist Matt Hooper examined the stomach contents and determined that the dead shark had not attacked a human. However, due to a lack of evidence, Mayor Vaughan refused to close the beaches for the busy Fourth of July tourist season.

On June 17, the Senate Watergate Committee issued its 1,250-page Report on Presidential Campaign Activities.

July 1974

On Titan, Thanos was defeated when Captain Marvel and the Avengers removed his vast powers by destroying the Cosmic Cube.

Captain America and his partners discovered that U.S. President Richard M. Nixon was a leader in the clandestine organization known as SPECTRE, bent on world domination. Nixon, codenamed “Number 1,” committed suicide rather than be caught by the heroes. His administration covered up the incident by replacing him with a double. [Captain America #175]

During the first week of July, tourists flocked to the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, where they were terrorized by a giant shark later nicknamed “Jaws.” Sheriff Martin Brody, marine biologist Matt Hooper and professional shark hunter Quint then tracked the shark down aboard Quint’s boat Orca. Brody managed to kill the shark, but not before it killed Quint.

Greer Grant Nelson (age 22), who fought crime as “The Cat,” was transformed into a cat-like humanoid by the Cat People and adopted the alias “Tigra.”

August 1974

Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton murdered teenage prostitute Kathleen Smith and then fled to Cuba to avoid prosecution. Elaine Brown took over leadership in his absence, but the organization would steadily decline. (Newton would later return in 1977, but the Black Panther Party was only a shell of an organization by then. It would cease operation all together in 1982.)

After months working in an underground laboratory in New Mexico, Magneto (Max Eisenhardt, age 46) used the ancient, alien technology he had discovered to bioengineer “the ultimate mutant.” Calling him Alpha, Magneto began using his creation’s vast powers for malicious purposes. He was soon confronted by the Defenders, but they proved no match for Alpha. However, as Alpha gained greater awareness and understanding, he decided that he disagreed with the things Magneto had manipulated him into doing. He then used his powers to transform all of the members of the Brotherhood of Mutants (Magneto, Blob, Lorelei, Mastermind and Unus) into six-month-old children, and then left Earth to explore the universe. The infant mutants were taken to the Muir Island Mutant Research Center to be cared for by Dr. Moira MacTaggert (age 41) and her staff. [Defenders #15–16]

A government research building was demolished that had housed the capsule keeping Robert Frank, Jr. in suspended animation since his birth in 1948. Although the child’s aging had been slowed, he was now biologically about 12 years old. Called “Nuklo,” he went on a rampage until he was finally stopped by The Avengers and reunited with his father, Robert Frank Sr. (The Whizzer, age 53). Robert Sr. had his first heart attack at this time.

The criminal Ebenezer Laughton, a.k.a. “The Scarecrow,” was killed, but he was soon brought back to life as an undead creature, stronger than ever.

With the Man-Beast defeated, Warlock (now using the first name “Adam”) left Counter-Earth to travel the cosmos in search of a new purpose.

Sue (age 37) and Reed Richards (age 48) reconciled. However, Sue did not rejoin the Fantastic Four at this time, but continued to care for her young son Franklin (age 5).

On Friday, August 9, citing Watergate scandal allegations, Richard M. Nixon (actually a double at this time) became the first person to resign the U.S. Presidency. Vice President Gerald Ford (b. 1912, d. 2006) was then sworn in as the 38th U.S. President (1974-1977).

September 1974

Having inherited Oscorp, Harry Osborn (age 27) managed to get his father’s company back in shape as he planned his revenge against Spider-Man. To his shock, he found a Spider-Man costume in Peter Parker’s apartment and realized that his best friend was the man he blamed for his father’s death. Using his father’s old equipment, Harry confronted Peter as the new Green Goblin.

Science Ninja Team Gatchaman defeated the terrorist organization Galactor and prevented them from turning Earth into a black hole. Team member Jō “The Condor” Asakura (age 20) was lost and presumed killed. Galactor commander Berg Katse (age 31) committed suicide.

October 1974

Canada’s Department H deployed their superhuman agent Wolverine (Logan, age 82) to stop the destruction caused by a brawl between the Hulk and the Wendigo. Wolverine was able to fight the Hulk to a draw.

Paul Kirk (a.k.a., “Manhunter”) teamed up with Batman (Bruce T. Wayne, age 28) to defeat the secret organization known as “The Council,” but lost his life in the process.

Sōsai X abducted a young girl named Sammie Pandora. With the help of his alien technology, he quickly evolved her into an adult under his control to be the new commander of Galactor, and renamed her Gel Sandra. Meanwhile, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman discovered that team member Jō “The Condor” Asakura was still alive, having been rescued from the brink of death by a sympathetic scientist from Galactor.

Magneto was transformed into a six-month old child by Mutant Alpha.

On October 30, current heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman fought former champ Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa, Zaire in an event dubbed the “Rumble in the Jungle.” Ali won the fight and was crowned the new heavyweight champion by the World Boxing Council (WBC). However, the World Boxing Association (WBA) had considered Apollo Creed the top contender, and they chose not to recognize the bout. The WBA instead awarded its heavyweight title to Creed after he beat contender Ernie Roman.

November 1974

Steve Austin, “The Six Million Dollar Man,” met Barney Hiller, “The Seven Million Dollar Man.”

Professor Lee Wing learned that the Iron Fist was in New Yoirk, and he sent his daughter Colleen to make contact with him.

Leila Taylor gave birth to Samuel Thomas Wilson, Jr. The baby’s father, Sam Sr. (Falcon), took a hiatus from crime fighting and he and Leila talked about getting married, but ultimately he was unwilling to stop being a costumed hero, and she was unwilling to marry him while he was putting his life at risk. He would eventually start returning to active duty and they would begin drifting apart.

December 1974

The U.S. Apollo 18 mission to the moon was launched covertly, disguised as a satellite launch. Upon arriving, the astronauts discovered an abandoned Soviet LK lunar lander and crab-like alien life forms. Like the cosmonauts before them, the astronauts were killed by the aliens. Due to the discoveries made on this mission, the U.S. cancelled all further manned missions to the moon.

Steve Rogers retired as Captain America. He said he had become too disillusioned to represent America after seeing what people in the top tiers of government had done. (The public wasn’t aware of the Nixon administration’s involvement in SPECTRE, only the Watergate allegations.) Secretly, though, Rogers took on a new costumed alias, that of “Nomad.”

Music of 1974
Music in Twelve Parts composed by Philip Glass

1975

By this time, nearly 100% of U.S. homes had electricity and 90% had a telephone.

Assisted by his friend Ben Turner, Richard Dragon opened his own dojo in Manhattan. Around this time, the two men were approached by Barney Ling, and agent of U.N.C.L.E., who recruited them as agents.

Recent Los Angeles police academy graduates Sabrina Duncan (b. 1948), Jill Munroe (b. 1947) and Kelly Garrett (b. 1945) were recruited by John Bosley (b. 1929) to work for Charlie Townsend (b. 1918). All three were unsatisfied with their jobs, and Townsend believed their tremendous potential was being squandered in office jobs. Calling them his “Angels,” he formed the Townsend Agency and put them to work as private investigators.

In Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Dr. Michael Twoyoungman (now age 50, but appearing younger thanks to his shamanistic magic) was reunited with Narza, daughter of the Inuit demi-goddess Nelvana of the Northern Lights (now age 28, but she had stopped aging at around age 20). He became her caretaker and spiritual guide.

Marc Spector (b. 1943 in Chicago, Illinois) was a former heavyweight boxer and U.S. Marine who had become a mercenary after the Vietnam War, along with his friend and pilot Jean-Paul “Frenchie” DuChamp. While working for African mercenary Raoul Bushman in Egypt, the group stumbled upon an archaeological dig site where a team led by Dr. Peter Alraume and his daughter Marlene had discovered the ancient tomb of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Deciding to loot the temple, Bushman killed Dr. Alraume. Spector angrily confronted him for this, and was beaten and left to die outside in the sub-zero temperatures of the desert night. He was rescued by a local religious sect who still worshipped the old gods. They brought him into the temple, where he had a vision of Khonshu offereing him a second chance at life if he would become the god’s avatar here on Earth. Spector awoke, wraped himself in the silver shroud that covered Khonshu’s statue, and again confronted Bushman, this time defeating him. Returning to the U.S. with Frechie, Marlene Alraume and the statue of Khonshu, Spector dedicated himself to fighting crime as the “Moon Knight,” avatar of the moon god Khonshu.

January 1975

A daughter, Hope, was born to Dr. Henry Pym (the former Ant-Man, age 40) and his wife Janet (the former Wasp, age 36).

On January 6, North Vietnamese forces captured Phuoc Binh, the capital of Phước Long Province. U.S. President Gerald Ford asked Congress for funds to assist and re-supply the South before it was overrun, but Congress refused. The fall of Phuoc Binh and the lack of an American response left the South Vietnamese demoralized.

February 1975

Janice Rosa Bertinelli (b. September 7, 1966) witnessed the murder of her entire family in their home. At the time, she believed she was the daughter of mob boss Franco Bertinelli, but her father was actually Santo Cassamento, the don of a rival mafia family, who had been carrying on an affair with her mother Maria.

In New York City, the Fantastic Four and Professor Charles Xavier encountered the 15-year-old mutant (Homo sapiens superior) Jamie Maddrox (b. 1959), the “Multiple Man,” who was having difficulty controlling his powers. They helped him and then sent him to Dr. Moira MacTaggert’s Muir Island Mutant Research Center in Scotland, where he became her assistant.

Having recovered from his surgeries and learned to use his new cybernetic limbs, bionic man Mike Power was given the option of continuing as an agent of the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) or transferring to the joint U.S. military initiative known as the “G.I. Joe Action Team.” Power chose the latter.

While traveling the cosmos, Adam Warlock encountered the Universal Church of Truth, an intergalactic religious organization spanning several star systems and led by the evil Magus. Warlock would soon realize that Magus was actually a corrupted part of his own soul that had gained consciousness and separated from him when he acquired the Soul Gem. [A slight reinterpretation of the Magus Saga, minus the time-travel.]

March 1975

Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, was reunited with his high school sweetheart, tennis pro Jaime Sommers. When Sommers was injured in a skydiving accident, the OSI agreed to rebuild her with cybernetic parts, much as they had done with Austin. The operation appeared to be a success. However, Sommers later appeared to die from a blood clot in her brain. The OSI managed to place her in cryogenic stasis, but allowed Austin to believe she had died.

Iron Fist (Daniel Rand) first met Colleen Wing’s best friend Misty Knight. Although Knight initially mistook him for a criminal, she and Rand would soon develop a romantic relationship.

On March 24, WBA and WBC heavyweight boxing champions Apollo Creed and Muhammad Ali met. Ali seemed uncharacteristically unprepared, and Creed won in a close decision to become the undisputed heavyweight champ. Afterward, talk turned to a rematch, but Creed refused, saying that he wanted to fight another challenger first. It turned out to be a misstep, as the WBC would withdraw its support of his undisputed championship and vacate the title again.

April 1975

With the help of Colleen WingIron Fist finally defeated the Cult of Kara-Kai and cleared his name for the death of Harold Meachum. He then decided to remain in New York and use his mystical gifts to start a secret career as a crime fighter under the alias “Iron Fist.” In his civilian identity as Daniel Rand, he was also now the wealthy heir of half of Rand-Meachum, Inc. Meachum’s daughter Joy, who still blamed Iron Fist for her father’s death, owned the other half of the company.

After much soul-searching, Steve Rogers returned as Captain America, saying that he didn’t have to support the actions of the U.S. government to support the ideals that America stood for.

Dr. Bill Foster (age 32), former assistant to Dr. Hank Pym (Ant-Man / Giant-Man), moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles. There, he began using his former employer’s “Pym Particles” to transform himself into a costumed superhero, taking the alias “Black Goliath.”

On April 30, North Vietnamese troops captured the city of Saigon, and South Vietnam surrendered, ending the Vietnam War. The last U.S. civilians were evacuated.

May 1975

On the Ust-Ordynski Collective farm, near Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia, 14-year-old Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin discovered he had the mutant (Homo sapiens superior) power to change his flesh to near-invulnerable organic steel as he rushed to save his four-year-old sister Illyana from an out-of-control tractor. Having destroyed the tractor, state property, and fearing what Soviet authorities would do if they found out about his unusual condition, his family worried about his future. Their fears were assuaged when Charles Xavier (age 41) arrived from the U.S. to recruit Piotr for his “School for Gifted Youngsters.” Xavier was, in fact, busy organizing his second mutant superhero team of X-Men. In addition to Rasputin (codenamed Colossus), the new members were: Wolverine (Logan from Canada, age 82 but kept appearing much younger due to an accelerated healing factor), Banshee (Sean Cassidy from Ireland, age 34), Storm (Ororo Munroe from Kenya, age 23), Thunderbird (Native American John Proudstar, age 17) and Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner from Germany, age 16). Cyclops (Scott Summers, age 27), a veteran from the original team, also chose to stay on as the group’s leader. Sunfire (Shiro Yoshida from Japan, age 28) had been invited, but declined to join the team, although he did assist with their first mission: rescuing the remaining members of the original team from Krakoa, the Living Island. Once rescued, all of these other veterans chose to retire at this time. [Giant-Size X-Men #1]

After being defeated by Iron Man again, the third Crimson Dynamo (Alex Nevsky, age 35) was deemed unfit for duty. He was killed by the KGB and the mechanized armor was reassigned to up-and-coming KGB agent Yuri Petrovich (b. 1951). [Iron Man #74 and conjecture]

Frankenstein’s monster met Victoria Frankenstein (a distant relative of his creator), who restored his damaged vocal chords. He soon joined her group of misfits known as the “Children of the Damned.”

On Saturday, May 31, a species of aliens dubbed the “Intruders” began invading Earth. They first attacked near Kansas City, where the Flash (Barry Allen, age 42) alerted his fellow Justice League members. The Intruders used a special weapon against Earth’s heroes, pink blobs called “Adaptoids” that were able to fight the Justice League to a standstill. While the JLA was stalled fighting the Adaptoids, President Ford called in the joint U.S. military initiative known as the “G.I. Joe Action Team” to battle the Intruders directly. The “Joes” were bolstered by recent recruit Mike Power (age 26), a bionic soldier. They also found an ally in Bulletman (Jim Barr, coming out of retirement at age 63). Meanwhile, a small team of Avengers (Thor, Iron Man, Mantis and Hawkeye) responded to an Adaptoid that landed in the Pacific. [This combines the May–June plot of the Justice League of America comics with the story line of the G.I. Joe toy line in 1975, and adds in the Avengers who weren't doing anything at that time.]

June 1975

Dr. Michael Martin (age 49) stepped down from the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI). Using banks accounts that he had set up under his false identity as Loren Jupiter, he founded the Omni Consumer Products (OCP) company in Detroit, Michigan. He chose Detroit as the headquarters due to the economic downturn that had plagued the area since the riots of 1967, and he felt it would be the ideal place to enact his vision of using science and technology to rejuvenate urban blight, a concept that he would soon term the “Delta City” project. Patterning the company after S.T.A.R. Labs, OCP would gamble in markets traditionally viewed as non-profit, including hospitals, prsions and space exploration. Among his early hires were former OSI robotics expert Dr. David Bradley (age 65) and Henry Heywood, Jr. (age 28), son of the original “Commander Steel,” Henry Heywood, Sr.

Medusa (Medusalith Amaquelin, age 40) returned to Attilan to be with her people, the Inhumans, and Sue Storm Richards (age 38) returned to active duty with the Fantastic Four.

On Tuesday, June 3, after four days of battling the Intruders, the invasion of Earth was halted. Hawkman (Katar Hol), Hawkwoman (Shayera Thal) and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) returned from the planet Thanagar with a counter-attack to defeat the Adaptoids. With the Intriders’ primary weapon neutralized, the tides were quickly turned and the battle won. However, the ranks of the Joes had been hit hard, as many—including bionic soldier Mike Power—had been killed in action.

July 1975

In the first-ever joint U.S.-Soviet space mission, known as the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP), the two countries both launched spacecraft on July 15. The two craft docked with each other in orbit on July 17 and remained that way for two days before returning to Earth. On July 18, while docked, the crews were visited by an alien calling himself the “Master of the Sun” (actually Prince J’son of Spartax). The alien had been following the Intruders that had attacked Earth some weeks prior and was impressed by the heroics that he saw in defending the planet. As he wanted to retire as Star-Lord and return to his home planet, he had decided that he would select his replacement from among Earth’s bravest souls. At first, he chose one of the Russian cosmonauts from the Soyuz mission, but U.S. astronaut Alan Peter Quill (b. 1942) talked him out of it. Impressed by the Quill’s chutzpah, the alien chose him as the new Star-Lord and left with him. Later, both U.S. and Soviet mission documents were falsified to remove all evidence of Quill having ever been on that flight, or even having been a member of NASA Astronaut Group 6.

On July 30 in Detroit, Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa (b. 1913) disappeared. He was believed to have been murdered by the mafia, who deemed his efforts to regain power within the Teamsters to be a threat to their control of the union’s pension fund.

August 1975

Merry Pemberton King (age 47) left her husband Henry King, Sr. (age 63), feeling that he had begun to turn back to the bad habits he had possessed when he had been the supervillain Brain Wave (1942–1947). She took their son Henry Jr. (age 14) with her. Henry Sr. became extremely bitter and began to plot revenge against numerous people that he perceived were to blame, including his former adversaries in the Justice Society.

September 1975

Brainwashed newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was arrested by the FBI and San Francisco Police Department, along with another member of the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Gel Sandra turned against Galactor and her master Sōsai X and sacrificed herself to save the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Sōsai X was believed destroyed, but a fragment survived and began to regenerate.

October 1975

After many imperfect attempts, “The Jackal” (Miles Warren) created two perfect clones of Peter Parker (Spider-Man). Unlike previous cloning technology, Warren’s clones were made fully developed (as opposed to starting as fetuses) and with all of Parker’s memories intact. One of the clones was cryogenically preserved in a secret lab, where it remains to this day. The other was awakened by Warren and at first believed himself to be the real Peter Parker. Both Warren and the awakened clone were subsequently thought to have been killed in an explosion, but both survived. The clone left New York and wandered the world, adopting the identity of “Ben Reilly.”

The fragment of Sōsai X that had survived destruction finished regenerating a new body. Now calling itself Sōsai Zed, the alien then recruited Count Erun Egobossurā as the new commander of Galactor. Meanwhile, Dr. Kozaburō Nambu was recognized for his work with Science Ninja Team Gatchaman and appointed head of U.N.C.L.E.

The short-lived “Champions” team formed in Los Angeles, California, led by the Black Widow (Natalia “Natasha” Romanova, age 36). The other members were: the demigod Hercules (age 3,261), the former X-Men Beast (Hank McCoy, age 29) and Angel (Warren Worthington III, age 28), and the Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze, age 23).

Tragedy struck the X-Men as new member Thunderbird (John Proudstar, age 18) was killed in action. While still coming to terms with his death, the X-Men were introduced to Moira MacTaggert, an ally of their mentor Charles Xavier and the director of the Muir Island Mutant Research Center.

On October 1, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fought the famous “Thrilla in Manilla” fight in Quezon City, Philippines, for the WBC heavyweight crown. Ali won, making him the only three-time lineal world heavyweight boxing champion in history. Ali would defend the title with a couple more fights the following year, then retire.

Following the “Thrilla in Manilla,” WBA heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed sought to repair his public image, as many claimed that his recent title defenses had not been true challenges and that Muhammad Ali was the more worthy champ. When a bout with Foreman fell through, Creed decided to give an underdog fighter a chance at the heavyweight title as a publicity stunt. Creed chose little-known Robert “Rocky” Balboa (b. 1946) for the fight, which would take place on January 1, 1976.

November 1975

The Crusader (Robert Grayson, age 42, formerly known as “Marvel Boy”) returned to Earth after a 24-year absence. He had discovered his boyhood home on Uranus destroyed and the colony of Eternals there killed, and he blamed those on Earth for the tragedy. When he confronted the Fantastic Four, he let his emotions get the better of him, lost control of the Quantum Bands and was vaporized by their power. The Quantum Bands were taken into the custody of the U.S. Department of External Services (DXS).

After joining the Gamma Base project to capture the Hulk, Dr. Leonard Samson (age 35) was re-exposed to gamma radiation. This caused him to again mutate into his green-haired, gamma-powered “Doc Samson” form.

Johnny Storm (The Human Torch, age 30) first met United Nations interpreter Frankie Raye (b. 1949). [Fantastic Four #164]

December 1975

Dr. Steven Lang (b. 1941), the head of the U.S. government’s task force on mutant research, had secretly created a new line of Sentinel robots. Just before Christmas, he used them to attack the X-Men in Manhattan. Four mutants were kidnapped and brought to his orbiting Project: Armageddon space station: Logan (a.k.a. Wolverine, age 83), Charles Xavier (age 41), Sean Cassidy (a.k.a. Banshee, age 35) and Jean Grey (formerly known as Marvel Girl, age 28). Lang’s team began running experiments on them and became particularly interested in Logan’s unusual readings.

On December 24, David Berkowitz, who would soon become known as the “Son of Sam” serial killer, committed his first crimes, stabbing two women and sending one of them to the hospital in Yonkers, New York.

1976

In the United States, celebrations took place throughout the year honoring the nation’s Bicentennial, the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Construction was completed on Hancock Place (commonly known as the John Hancock Tower) in Boston, the tallest building in New England.

The Fourth Host of the Celestials arrived on Earth to begin assessing humankind so that they could pass final judgment.

Following the conflict with the alien “Intruders,” much of the defense-oriented functionality of the U.S. State Department’s covert Department of External Services (DXS) was consolidated into S.H.I.E.L.D. The joint military program known as the “G.I. Joe Action Team” was discontinued, and DXS became primarily an intelligence agency.

During his travels as a criminal through the Triangulum Galaxy, the human mutant teenager known as Vul (Gabriel Summers, age 17) got a Shi’ar woman pregnant on the planet Ch’Reesharaa. The child, who would one day be known as Adam-X,  would be raised on that harsh planet by her father, Jonath. [It makes a lot more sense for Adam-X to be the son of Gabriel Summers than the son of D'Ken.]

Having given up the superhero business, green-skinned Garfield “Gar” Logan (a.k.a. Beast Boy, age 24) tried to become an actor in Hollywood. One of his projects was playing an alien in a pilot for television show called Space Trek: 2020, but the show was never aired due to copyright lawsuits.

January 1976

Superman (Clark Kent, age 55) and Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 29) met for the first time when their alter-egos were covering the same news story in New York City. After an initial misunderstanding, they teamed up to defeat the super-criminals Lex Luthor (age 63) and Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius, age 53).

Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Morse (age 30) left S.H.I.E.L.D. and became a costumed crime fighter using the alias “Huntress.”

Now calling herself by the codename “Lady Shiva,” Sandra Wu-San (age 16) tracked down Richard Dragon in Manhattan in order to get revenge for the death of her sister. However, Dragon was able to convince her of the truth that Guano Cravat has ordered her sister killed. Lady Shiva then joined Dragon and his friend Ben Turner for a while in their crime-fighting adventures. Under Dragon’s tutelage, she tried to explore the spiritual side of martial arts, but she was ultimately unable to gain the peace she so desired.

Jaime Sommers, the bionic woman, debuted as an OSI agent. She had fully healed from her injuries and adapted to her new bionic limbs. However, the blood clot in her brain that had nearly killed her had erased many of her memories.

In the “Bicentennial Bash” on Thursday, January 1 in Philadelphia, little-known contender Robert “Rocky” Balboa surprised everyone by going the distance with heavyweight boxing champ Apollo Creed. Creed won by split decision, but his public image had taken another hit.

February 1976

Having finally deduced that their missing colleagues had been taken to a space station, the remaining X-Men were taken into orbit by their ally, Dr. Peter Corbeau, aboard his top-secret Starcore space shuttle. There, they confronted Lang, who appeared to be aided by former members of the X-Men. However, these turned out to be a new kind of Sentinel robot. The X-Men defeated the robotic doppelgangers and escaped. As they headed back to Earth, Dr. Corbeau informed them of a threat from high radiation: whoever piloted the ship would face a lethal dose. Jean Grey used her telepathic powers to pull the knowledge of how to fly the ship from Corbeau’s mind and then ordered everyone else into the radiation-shielded area of the ship. She believed that her telekinetic powers would shield her from the radiation, but in the end the radiation overwhelmed her. She attempted an emergency landing at JFK Airport in New York, but skidded off the runway and landed in Jamaica Bay, smashing to pieces. (Professor Xavier would use his telepathic powers to erase the memories of all of the bystanders who had witnessed this dramatic crash-landing.) The X-Men and Peter Corbeau rose to the surface and began looking for signs of Jean. They were shocked when she suddenly rose out of the water in a new costume, calling herself Phoenix and proclaiming herself to be power incarnate. As it turns out, the radiation that had bombarded the ship was none other than the cosmic Phoenix Force, and it had bonded with Jean, although no one yet understood that or what it meant. Jean then passed out, and they rushed her to the hospital.

Adam Warlock managed to destroy the Magus, reabsorbing his energy into the Soul Gem. However, he also had a revelation that the Magus personality would someday corrupt him, and so put in place safeguards to ensure that he would die before that happened. [A slight reinterpretation of the Magus Saga, minus the time-travel.]

A reunion meeting of the Justice Society of America was held in Philadelphia and attended by Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson, age 70), Green Lantern (Alan Scott, age 60), Dr. Mid-Nite (Charles McNider, age 64), The Flash (Jay Garrick, age 57), Mister Terrific (Terry Sloane, age 53)  and Wildcat (Ted Grant, age 51). During the reunion, old of the team’s old nemeses, Brainwave (Henry King, age 54), created illusions that caused them to believe they were under attack. As they began to rally against the threat, they found themselves aided by three new heroes that happened to be nearby: Power Girl (Karen Kent, age 21), Robin (Dick Grayson, Jr., age 13), and King’s own stepson, the new “Star-Spangled Kid,” Sylvester Pemberton, Jr. (age 25). After the threat had been averted, the older heroes agreed to allow the younger ones to reestablish the Justice Society, and even serve as their mentors. Sloane agreed to provide funding for the new team, while Grant actively took to giving them lessons in hand-to-hand combat.

During a confrontation with the Hulk, Ben Grimm (age 52) was exposed to gamma radiation that reverted him back to a normal human being, curing him of the mutation that had turned him into “The Thing.”

In Los Angeles, the crime fighting team known as “The Champions” disbanded.

March 1976

In New York City, the vigilante Daredevil (Matt Murdock, age 37) first encountered the costumed criminal Bullseye, who would become a major nemesis for him.

Power Man (Luke Cage, age 26) was invited to join the Fantastic Four as a replacement for the Thing (Ben Grimm, age 51, who had reverted to a normal human), becoming the team’s youngest member.

On March 20, brainwashed newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment. However, her sentence would be commuted after two years by President Jimmy Carter. She would receive a full pardon from President Bill Clinton in 2001.

April 1976

Thirteen-year-old Dick Grayson, Jr.’s great aunt Harriet Cooper died of natural causes at age 71.

Sir James and Lady Elizabeth Braddock were killed in an explosion. The incident was made to look like an accident, but had secretly been orchestrated by Mastermind, a computer built by James using technology from Otherworld.

After a very brief stint, Luke Cage resigned from the Fantastic Four and Ben Grimm returned to the team, wearing a new exo-suit designed by Reed Richards to look like his former “Thing” self. With his confidence restored, he proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Alicia Masters.

May 1976

The warlord Zorr attacked the planet Xandar in the Tranta System of the Andromeda Galaxy, killing many of its citizens, including the wife and children of Rhomann Dey, leader of the “Nova Corps” that defended the planet. Dey then pursued Zorr across the galaxy and beyond, eventually arriving on planet Earth in the nearby Milky Way Galaxy.

June 1976

The  “Flight 19” planes that had disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1945 were discovered thousands of miles away in the Sonoran Desert.

Ben Grimm (The Thing) and Alicia Masters were married in New York City. Meanwhile, Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) began dating United Nations interpreter Frankie Raye.

July 1976

Captain Comet (Adam Blake, age 45) returned to Earth after having “crossed the galaxy – twice.” Due to a misunderstanding, he at first joined the Secret Society of Super Villains, with whom he fought against the even bigger threat of Darkseid.

Dr. Kozaburō Nambu, the Chief of U.N.C.L.E., was killed by the terrorist organization Galactor.

At age 16, Bonnie King won a bronze medal for the U.S. at the Summer Olympics in Montreal. However, to her domineering mother Millie, bronze was not acceptible and she continued to push her daughter even harder to train for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

Galactus, who had made a promise never again to attack Earth, instead came to feed on Counter-Earth. The Fantastic Four traveled to Counter-Earth to assist, but in the end Galactus was turned away by the High Evolutionary, whose vast powers were able to wound him and make him retreat. [Fantastic Four #172-175]

On July 26, during its 35th orbit of Mars, NASA’s Viking 1 spacecraft sent back a photograph that showed a mile-long mesa sculpted into the shape of a humanoid face. The photo, taken in the northern desert Cydonia region, was accidentally released to the press, causing NASA to immediately begin trying to explain it away as “a trick of the light.” However, a close examination of other photos from the region showed evidence of nine constructed pyramids and ruins of an ancient city. Further evidence of the former civilizations of Mars would be uncovered on the surface by future expeditions, including bones and tools, but they too would be explained away by NASA under a directive from the Men in Black.

On July 29, the first shootings attributed to the “Son of Sam” serial killer (David Berkowitz) took place, killing one woman and injuring another in the Pelham Bay area of The Bronx, New York City.

August 1976

Science Ninja Team Gatchaman sacrificed itself to finally destroy Sōsai Zed and end the threat of Galactor once and for all.

The criminal Silky Cernak blackmailed his old boss Selina Kyle (age 58) into resuming action once again as Catwoman.

September 1976

Wendell Vaughn (b. 1952 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin) graduated from the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy and was assigned to security detail at the research facility where a team of scientists were conducting experiments on the Quantum Bands taken from the deceased Crusader (Robert Grayson). Vaughn was not considered fit for field duty as he lacked a “killer instinct.”

Having pursued the warlord Zorr all the way to Earth, Nova Corps commander Rhomann Dey tried to subdue him, but was mortally wounded. He then randomly chose a young human from Earth, Richard Rider (b. 1960), and transferred his Nova powers to him. At first, Rider thought the encounter had been a dream, but he soon discovered that the powers were real and accepted his role. Encountering Zorr in New York City, he followed Dey’s final instructions to spring a trap that defeated him. (This actually teleported Zorr to where Dey killed him before himself dying.) Using the alias “Nova,” Rider would then continue to use his new powers to fight supervilains.

October 1976

While working on a fellowship at Darkmoor Nuclear Research Centre, Brian Braddock (age 21) witnessed the facility attacked by the technological criminal Joshua Stragg (alias “The Reaver“), Brian tried to find help by escaping on his motorcycle, but suffered a near-fatal crash. It was at this point that Merlyn and his daughter Roma, agents of Otherworld, appeared to Brian and offered him the opportunity to become the next champion of Britain. He was offered a choice between the Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might. Considering himself to be no warrior and unsuited for the challenge, Brian rejected the Sword and chose the Amulet. This choice transformed him into the next Captain Britain.

Robert Frank, Sr. (The Whizzer, now age 55) was duped by The Living Laser into attacking The Avengers, and suffered his second heart attack. (He would battle alongside the Avengers the following year, then retire again in 1978 at the age of 57.)

When King Kull threatened to use the power of the Rock of Eternity to conquer Earth, a number of Captain Marvel’s old allies came out of retirement to aid the Justice League of America and the Fantastic Four in defeating Kull and rescuing Billy Batson (who was still age 26, since Kull had kept him in suspended animation for nearly 23 years). Ibis the Invincible (Amentep) returned from Egypt. Pinkerton “Pinky” Butler (now age 47), the former Whiz Kid, donned the costume of his late adopted father, Brian Butler to assist the Justice League as Mr. Scarlet. Jim Barr (age 64, but looking younger thanks to the super-soldier serum that had given him his powers) came out of retirement to once again fight as Bulletman, and his daughter Deanna (age 28) suited up in her mother’s former costume as Bulletgirl. Once freed, Batson was once again able to say the magic word “Shazam!“ and transform into Captain Marvel. Billy’s sister Mary had since married and settled down with her family in Cincinnati, and Billy joined her there. He would spend much of his time over the coming years returning to guard the Rock of Eternity, but would also frequently assist the Justice League or other causes of as he saw fit.

The Thing (Ben Grimm, age 52) suddenly mutated back into his rocky form, destroying the exo-suit that he had worn, as it turned out that the “cure” he had experienced had only been temporary. Shortly afterward, he and his wife Alicia (age 37) discovered that she had become pregnant during the brief time he had been restored to human form.

On October 23, the “Son of Sam” serial killer (David Berkowitz) struck again, injuring two in Queens, New York.

November 1976

The Titans became active again from November 1976 until the end of 1977, when the “original lineup” would officially break up. During these final months, the new Robin (Dick Grayson, Jr.) was given full membership, as he had turned 14 years old in October.

On November 19, media mogul Rupert Murdoch bought the New York Post newspaper from Dorothy Schiff for about $50 million, keeping J. Jonah Jameson, Jr. (age 56) as editor-in-chief.

On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25, Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa fought a rematch of their “Bicentennial Bash” fight of January 1. This time, the challenger won, and with Muhammad Ali having recently announced his retirement, Balboa became the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

On November 27, the “Son of Sam” serial killer (David Berkowitz) shot two more victims in Queens, New York, wounding both and rendering one a paraplegic.

December 1976

Mal Duncan of the Titans changed his superhero alias from “Guardian” to “Herald.” He also began dating Karen Beecher (age 23), a UCLA graduate student working as an assistant to the noted chemist Dr. Bill Foster (age 34), who unknown to them was the costumed hero Black Goliath.

While recovering from her injuries, Jean Grey left the X-Men and moved in with her friend, private investigator Misty Knight, in New York City.

Jackson Day (b. 1950), a worker at a pharmaceutical factory, was doused in chemicals during a fire. The incident turned his skin blueish-black and unlocked a latent metahuman ability that allowed him to make others susceptible to his suggestions upon contact. He then debuted as the criminal known as “The Corrupter.”

After years in a catatonic state, Wonder Man (Simon Williams) awoke, still appearing human but now in fact now a being of pure ionic energy. He chose to remain with the Avengers.

1977

Canada’s Department H and the United State’s S.H.I.E.L.D. teamed up to begin their first human cloning experiments. Impressed by his combination of genius and physical prowess, Canada’s Department H selected James Hudson (age 33) as one of its first subjects. Meanwhile, exemplary S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter (age 30) was one of the U.S. subjects. As part of the experiment, brain wave scans were surreptitiously taken of everyone cloned. The clones were created without their subjects’ knowledge, born to surrogates in late 1977, and raised in secret.

There were increased UFO sightings around the world throughout the year.

January 1977

The Challengers of the Unknown team regrouped again for the third time.

Kid Eternity reappeared in the mortal world and aided Captain Marvel (Billy Batson). Kid and “Captain Marvel, Jr.” Freddy Freeman (both age 48) soon struck up a long-lasting friendship. When Freddy learned that the Kid did not have a proper name, he decided that they should be brothers and gave him the name Christopher Freeman, which the Kid was very pleased to accept.

U.S. Air Force officer Carol Danvers (age 32) discovered that the explosion of a Kree device called a “Psyche-Magnetron” that had seriously wounded her in 1969 had also given her superpowers. As she had healed, she had effectively become a Kree-human hybrid. She debuted as a crime fighter using the alias “Ms. Marvel.”

Returning to the Soviet Union after a failed mission to capture the Black Widow, the fourth Crimson Dynamo (Yuri Petrovich, age 25) was demoted and assigned to Siberia for being a “miserable failure.” He would soon defect from the KGB, however, and would end up becoming an ally of the Black Widow. [Champions #10 and conjecture; after 1980, any appearances of Ivan Petrovich are actually his son Yuri, since Ivan would have been too old at that point.]

On January 20, Jimmy Carter (b. 1924) became the 39th U.S. President (1977-1981).

On January 30, the “Son of Sam” serial killer (David Berkowitz) shot two more victims in Queens, New York, killing one.

February 1977

The SS Cotopaxi, which had disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1925, was rediscovered half a world away in the Gobi Desert.

While battling S.H.I.E.L.D., brainwashed agent Arachne (Jessica Drew) discovered HYDRA’s true nature and shook off the mental control. However, she was later recaptured and brainwashed again.

Ben Turner (age 24) was poisoned by the League of Assassins, who then began brainwashing him. He would soon emerge as the mysterious, masked assassin “Bronze Tiger,” one of the League’s deadliest weapons.

March 1977

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory completed work on the two spacecraft that had been commissioned for NASA’s Voyager program, and they were shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida. In addition to the two functional spacecraft, there were four JPL Voyager prototypes that had been discarded mid-project, including one that was nearly functional. The unusually high failure rate had been attributed to the speed of the project in order to meet the “Grand Tour” launch window, but cost-conscious NASA executives did not want this to mar an otherwise successful project, so certain details were left out public records, and the prototypes themselves were stored in a secret JPL facility in the Mojave Desert.

On her first Tamaranean birthday (about 13½ Earth years), Princess Koriand’r, heir to the throne of the planet Tamaran in the Vegan star system (25 light years from Earth), was sent to neighboring planet Okaara to train as a warrior, per their custom. Accompanying her was her older sister Komand’r (almost 16 Earth years old), who had not been allowed to make the journey on her own first birthday.

On March 8, the “Son of Sam” serial killer (David Berkowitz) shot and killed another victims in Queens, New York. The NYPD and mayor’s office would hold a press conference two days later to inform the public that the same .44 Bulldog revolver had been used in the shootings.

April 1977

Eric the Red used Shi’ar technology to restore Magneto and the other mutants who had been de-aged by Alpha in August 1974. They were transformed from three-year-olds back into adults in the prime of their lives (biologically, each was about 25 years old), and had their powers restored and their memories partly restored, although with some gaps. [X-Men #104]

Jefferson Pierce (b. 1954), an Olympic decathlete in Montreal the year prior, returned to his hometown of Oakland, California. There, he began using his electricity-based mutant (Homo sapiens superior) powers to fight crime as “Black Lightning.”

Kung Fu master Shang-Chi (age 26) quit British intelligence agency MI-6.

On April 17, the “Son of Sam” serial killer (David Berkowitz) shot and killed two more victims in Queens, New York. In the days that followed, police again confirmed that the same weapon had been used and that a single killer was responsible for the homicides. In addition, police found a rambling letter from the killer, wherein he called himself the “Son of Sam.” While this letter was initially kept from the public, some of its contents soon leaked to the press.

May 1977

In Vicksburg, Mississippi, a 11-year-old girl named Anna Marie (b. 1965) kissed a boy named Cody, at which point her latent mutant power to absorb the life energy and psyche of others with skin-to-skin contact emerged. Rogue was traumatized by the experience, and Cody was left in a permanent coma. Not long afterward, she was approached by Mystique (Raven Darkhölme), who sought her out on the advice of her precognitive partner Destiny (Irene Adler). Mystique explained to Anna Marie that she was a mutant (Homo sapiens superior) and offered to help her learn how to control her powers. She gave her a new name, “Rogue,” and took her in as a daughter.

On May 30, the Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin received a threatening, handwritten letter from someone who claimed to be the “Son of Sam,” further adding to the public hysteria about the serial killer.

June 1977

In Boston, Bruce T. Wayne (Batman, age 31) began dating socialite Silver St. Cloud (b. 1951). [Detective Comics #470]

While working for Dr. Bill Foster (a.k.a. Black Goliath, age 35), UCLA graduate assistant Karen Beecher (age 24) discovered a prototype miniaturization suit modeled on that of the Wasp (Janet Pym). After making some modifications of her own, Beecher used it to shrink herself and feign an attack on the Titans with the intent of making her boyfriend Mal Duncan (Guardian, age 26) look more important on the team. When she later confessed to what she had done, she was surprised to find that they offered her a place on the team. After discussing it with Foster (who was angry with her and yet impressed with her innovations), she was allowed to continue using the suit and became a reserve member of the Titans team.

A normal, healthy baby boy was born to Alicia (age 38) and Benjamin Grimm (The Thing, age 53) in London, England (where the couple had gone to avoid the New York media). They named him Daniel after Ben’s brother who had been killed as a child.

On June 26, the “Son of Sam” serial killer (David Berkowitz) shot two more victims in Queens, New York, although both survived with relatively minor injuries.

July 1977

After 50 failed attempts over the course of a decade—every one of them becoming unstable and psychotic—Dr. Oliver Broadhurst, robotics division program director for the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), ordered all of the program’s androids destroyed. However, there was a 51st android, model number Z2P45-9-X-51, which had been radically modified and reprogrammed by Dr. Abel Stack. This android did not display the psychotic tendencies of the others, and Dr. Stack had come to regard it as his own son, even giving it the name Aaron Stack. He raced to remove the self-distruct mechanism from it, and was himself killed when it went off. The android soon became the target of the OSI and the U.S. military, and went on the run.

Based on his research into the Hulk, Canadian biophysicist and former professional football player Dr. Walter Langowski (b. 1939) believed he had unlocked the secrets of using gamma radiation to unlock hidden human potential. In a secret laboratory near the Arctic Circle, he carefully exposed himself to gamma radiation and was surprised to find that it transformed him not into a green goliath, but into an orange, fur-covered beast resembling the fabled Sasquatch. Unknown to Langkowski at the time, it was not the gamma rays that turned him into Sasquatch, but the fact that his lab equipment opened a doorway between our world and the “Realm of Great Beasts.” When this portal was opened, a mystical beast called Tanaraq had merged with Langkowski’s body.

On July 31, the “Son of Sam” serial killer (David Berkowitz) shot two more victims in Queens, New York, killing one and seriously wounding the other.

August 1977

Black Mantis killed Arthur Curry, Jr. (a.k.a. “Aquaboy,” age 11), the son of Arthur (Aquaman) and Mera of Atlantis. The death of their son began to drive a rift between the couple.

Brainwashed HYDRA agent Jessica Drew, now going by the codename “Spider-Woman,” was assigned to abduct Alicia Masters Grimm and her newborn son Daniel, but she was again able to shake free of HYDRA’s mind control. She then aided the Thing (Ben Grimm) in rescuing his wife and child. Jessica then took steps to stay hidden from HYDRA and contemplated what to do with her life.

Iron Fist (Daniel Rand, age 24) first encountered the savage mutant (Homo sapiens superior) known as Sabretooth (Victor Creed, age 89).

Grotesk (Prince Gor-Tek, last survivor of the Gortekian Deviants of Mu) once again tried to destroy all humans as revenge for the destruction of his people, but he was stopped by Ms. Marvel and died in battle. [Ms. Marvel #8]

On August 10, police went to interview David Berkowitz as a possible witness to the most recent “Son of Sam” shootings. Just before they reached his apartment, they were stopped by Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 30), who told them that he had discovered that Berkowitz was the killer. On his advice, they searched Berkowitz’s car and discovered a rifle and a duffel bag filled with ammunition, maps of the crime scenes and a threatening letter addressed to Sgt. Dowd of the Omega task force. The police decided to wait to obtain a warrant for the vehicle, worried that their search might be challenged in court. The warrant had still not arrived, however, when Berkowitz emerged from his home at about 10:00 p.m. As police surrounded his car, Berkowitz drew the .44 Special Bulldog from a paper sack, only to have it snatched away by Spider-Man’s webbing. Berkowitz then said, “Well, you got me. How come it took you such a long time?”

On August 16, Elvis Presley died, and the nation grieved at the passing of “The King of Rock and Roll.”

The Voyager 2 spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on August 20. (It was actually launched before its twin, the Voyager 1, but was scheduled to reach the first planet, Jupiter, later.)

September 1977


After finally encountering android X-51, alias “Aaron Stack,” Dr. Oliver Broadhurst, robotics division program director for the U.S. Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI), decided that he did not deserve to be destroyed. He helped the “Machine Man” regain a human-like appearance and escape.

After many experiments, a S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent was selected to test the Quantum Bands, but soon lost control over the power and was vaporized. However, when the research facility was attacked by A.I.M., security agent Wendell Vaughn (age 25) put on the Quantum Bands and found that his more flexible will (what his superiors had called his “lack of a killer instinct”) was able to work with them without problem, and he repelled the attack.

Jill Munroe left her job as a private investigator at the Townsend Agency in order to pursue a career racing cars, and was replaced by her younger sister Kris (b. 1951), a recent graduate of the San Francisco police academy.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on September 5. (Although it was launched after its twin, the Voyager 2, it moved faster and soon passed it.)

While tracking the progress of the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, NASA scientists in the U.S. decoded a message from outer space that appeared to be geographical coordinates pointing to the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. [Close Encounters of the Third Kind]

October 1977

Government officials closed down roads near the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming using a false story that a train derailment had caused a toxic nerve gas leak. [Close Encounters of the Third Kind]

After a skirmish with Spider-Man, the Human torch and Ms. Marvel, Kl’rt the “Super-Skrull” became trapped in orbit around the Sun.

During a sparring exercise under the instruction of the Warlords of Okaara, Princess Komand’r attempted to kill her sister, Princess Koriand’r, the heir to the throne of the planet Tamaran. Komand’r was expelled for the incident and disappeared, swearing vengeance.

November 1977

Aliens from the star system Zeta Reticuli landed near the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming and made contact with the scientists there. They returned the crews of SS Cotopaxi that they had abducted in 1925 and the “Flight 19” planes that they had abducted in 1945, while accepting new volunteers from the human race to accompany them on their next flight. [Close Encounters of the Third Kind]

On the Citadel Homeworld, Princess Komand’r of Tamaran made a secret deal with her people’s enemies. In exchange for a reluctant pledge of fealty to the Citadel, the planet of Tamaran had mostly been left to rule itself, unlike the other planets in the Vegan star system. Due to her bitterness at her own people, however, Komand’r turned her back on them and shared secrets with the Citadel to help them plan a complete takeover of the planet. With the attack successful, the Tamaraneans fell under hard oppression. The only condition Komand’r had for cooperating with the Citadelians was that she be given her sister Koriand’r, the former heir to the throne, as a slave. The Citadelians agreed on the condition that Koriand’r be removed from Tamaran. Komand’r was given a luxurious Citadelian starship to travel to any of the other 21 planets in the system.

December 1977

In Boston, Batman (Bruce Thomas Wayne, age 31) first encountered the deadly assassin Deadshot (Floyd Lawton, age 24). (Note that this Deadshot was unrelated to the masked assassin who had briefly gone by that name in 1950.)

Having been blackmailed back into a life of crime, Catwoman (Selina Kyle, age 59) was killed when she was double-crossed by Silky Cernak. Her daughter Helena (age 20), Bruce Thomas Wayne’s half-sister, then decided to bring Cernak to justice. Fashioning weapons out of her late parents’ equipment, she debuted as the vigilante “The Huntress” (unaware that Dr. Barbara “Bobbi” Morse was also using that alias at this time).

With Emperor D’Ken of the Shi’ar threatening to destroy the universe with the power of the M’Kraan Crystal, the X-Men and the Starjammers teamed up to stop him. Jean Grey ultimately used the power of the Phoenix Force to repair the crystal and allow it to continue preventing the birth of a new universe that would destroy our own. D’Ken was injured and slipped into a coma during the battle, and his sister Lilandra became Empress.

Adam Warlock turned Thanos to stone. This did not kill Thanos, however, as he still retained enough cosmic power for his disembodied spirit to remain conscious.

1978

Although the disease had not yet been identified, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) had begun to spread rapidly through the gay community. By 1978, an estimated 5% of homosexual male residents of New York City and San Francisco had become infected.

Under new Empress Lilandra, the Shi’ar cracked down on crime on the Throneworld of Chandilar. Burgeoning criminal Vul (Gabriel Summers, age 19) was caught during this crack down. With his mutant powers controlled by an energy- dampening collar, he was forced to work in the slave pits of Alsibar.

January 1978

S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Wendell Vaughn was officially promoted to field duty under the code name “Marvel Man” (some official reports erroneously referred to him as “Marvel Boy” at first).

John J. Jameson III (b. 1946), the son of New York Post editor J. Jonah Jameson, Jr., was selected as one of NASA’s incoming class of astronauts.

Richard Dragon (age 24) retired from crime fighting to focus on running his dojo in Manhattan. Over the years, though, he would lend his expertise to training many other crime-fighters. Meanwhile, his student Lady Shiva (age 18) continued her life of wandering and would go on to become one of the world’s deadliest assassins.

February 1978

Rat’Lar, the leader of a species of aliens called the Scrubb, sent a message to Earth demanding that Earth’s greatest champion fight the greatest Scrubb fighter. If Earth should refuse, he threatened that the Scrubb and their huge armada of spaceships would destroy it. U.S. President Jimmy Carter relayed the message to Superman, who volunteered to represent Earth. However, retired heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali also stepped forward to volunteer, arguing that Superman was not really of Earth. Rat’Lar decided that Superman and Ali should fight one another to determine who should represent Earth. To make the fight fair, he decreed that the match should take place on his home planet, Bodace, which orbits a red sun (temporarily robbing Superman of his powers). The winner would simply be the better boxer. In preparation, Ali began training Superman in the finer points of boxing at Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, where Superman was able to temporarily nullify his powers.

James Hudson (age 33) completed work on his super-powered exoskeleton suit for Canada’s top-secret Department H. Calling himself “Weapon Alpha,” he traveled to the U.S. to try to convince Wolverine (Logan, age 85) to return to Canada. The confrontation turned heated, and Hudson accidentally injured X-Men ally Moira MacTaggert (age 44) before calling off the mission and returning to Canada.

March 1978

The Superman vs. Muhammad Ali match took place on the planet Bodace. It was broadcast to many other star systems, although it was not seen on Earth. Without his powers, Superman was not able to match Ali and was knocked out. Now crowned Earth’c champion, Ali was set to face the Scrubb champion Hun’Ya.

Luke Cage (real name Carl Lucas, age 28) was cleared of all of the charges for which he had originally been framed and sentenced to Seagate Prison in 1970.

High school student Ronnie Raymond (b. 1964) went on a field trip with his class to the Beaver Valley Nuclear Generating Station near Shippingport, Pennsylvania. University of Pittsburgh physics professor Martin Stein (b. 1927) also happened to be there that day. By chance, the two became separated from the tour and happened upon terrorists planting a bomb at the facility. The terrorists knocked out Stein and fled. Before Raymond could alert anyone, the bomb exploded. Rather than being harmed, the nuclear radiation somehow bound the two men to something called the “Firestorm Matrix,” a great source of elemental energy. They found themselves fused together into one body with the ability to manipulate matter and energy in various ways. Because Stein had been unconscious at the time of the accident, Raymond controlled the body, although Stein was present in his mind and able to communicate with him. In a short time, Raymond figured out how to repair the damage from the blast and then separate his and Stein’s bodies once again. Stein would have no memory of the incident. Whenever Raymond desired, he could summon Stein to him again, re-fuse into “Firestorm the Nuclear Man,” but Stein would not remember his actions afterward.

April 1978

Dmitri Bukharin (b. 1951) debuted as the fifth Crimson Dynamo.

On the planet Bodace, Muhammad Ali, the champion of Earth, fought the Scrubb champion Hun’Ya. Ali fell behind early in the fight, but knocked out Hun’Ya in the fourth round. Meanwhile, having learned that Rat’Lar plans to go back on his word and invade Earth, Superman used the distraction of the fight to sabotage the Scrubb space armada. In his showdown with the armada, however, Superman was badly hurt and left drifting in space. After the fight, Rat’Lar realized what Superman had done and gave the order to move against Earth, but his champion Hun’Ya became enraged by these dishonorable tactics and deposed Rat’Lar. He then helped rescue Superman and made peace with him, Ali and all of Earth.

In New York City, Power Man (Luke Cage) and Iron Fist (Daniel Rand) became partners as “Heroes for Hire.”

Also in New York, the third Green Goblin (Dr. Barton Hamilton, age 35) accidentally blew himself up with one of his own bombs.

In Boston, Silver St. Cloud (age 27) witnessed her boyfriend Batman (Bruce T. Wayne, age 32) battle the criminal known as the Joker. Realizing she could not be with someone who lived such a dangerous life, she broke up with him. Wayne was devastated by the loss. [Detective Comics #476]

May 1978

In Los Angeles, Karen Beecher (the former Bumblebee, age 25) earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from UCLA. She and her boyfriend Mal Duncan (the former Guardian, age 27) would soon be married and move to San Francisco, where Karen would take a job working for S.T.A.R. Labs. Meanwhile, Mal, an accomplished jazz musician, would realize his dream of opening a nightclub, “Gabriel’s Horn.”

Serial killer Theodore Kaczynski, a.k.a. “The Unabomber,” sent his first mail bomb to materials engineering professor Buckley Crist at Northwestern University. The suspicious package was opened by campus policeman Terry Marker, injuring him. Kaczynski would send 15 more bombs and kill three of his victims over the next 17 years before being captured.

In London, Jessica Drew met Charles Magnus, who would become her mentor. He won her trust and convinced her to move to Los Angeles to investigate what had happened to her father.

Jaime Sommers went into semi-retirement as an OSI agent.

June 1978

In Atlantis, Garth (Aqualad, age 26) and Tula (Aquagirl, age 26) were married.

The Huntress (Helena Kyle, age 21) joined the Justice Society.

Ra’s al Ghul conducted a ceremony that married his daughter Talia to Batman (Bruce Wayne, age 32). Ra’s and Talia considered this marriage valid despite the fact that they did not have Wayne’s consent.

July 1978

Captain Comet (Adam Blake, age 47) left Earth and returned to space again, although he would now return more frequently. Before he left, the Justice League offered him membership, but he turned it down and so was made an honorary member instead.

The original Challengers of the Unknown team disbanded again for the final time.

While working for S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Preston Payne tried to cure himself of hyperpituitarism. In doing so, he obtained a sample of blood from Matt Hagen, the second Clayface, and isolated an enzyme that seemed to show promise for providing a cure. He then injected himself with it.

At midnight on Sunday, July 2, a summit was held in Pelham Bay Park between representatives of all New York area gangs. Cyrus, leader of the Gramercy Riffs, the most powerful gang in New York City, proposed a permanent citywide truce that would allow the gangs to control the city. However, Luther, leader of the Rogues, shot Cyrus dead. In the resulting chaos, Luther framed Cleon, leader of the Warriors, a gang from Coney Island, for the murder, and he was beaten down by the Riffs. The other Warriors escaped, unaware that they’d been implicated in Cyrus’ murder, but were chased through the city by the Riffs as they returned home, leading to a final confrontation in Coney Island at sunrise.

August 1978

Having injected himself with an enzyme from the blood of Matt Hagen, the second Clayface, Preston Payne discovered that he was able to shape his own appearance. However, as a side effect, his touch melted the flesh of others. This led to a breakdown in Payne’s mental health as he began to call himself the third Clayface.

While in Alaska over the summer, Aquaman (Arthur Curry, age 37) had an affair with an Inuit woman named Kako (b. 1950).

Several of Earth’s top supervillains gathered for the first time. Calling themselves the “Intelligencia,” they would agree to coordinate efforts over the coming years to bring down their common enemies. The initial members included: Alexei Luthor, Doctor Doom, the Leader, Mad Thinker, MODOK, Red Ghost and Wizard.

September 1978

Dr. Leonard Samson (a.k.a. Doc Samson, age 38) diagnosed Dr. Bruce Banner (a.k.a. The Hulk, age 42) with multiple personality disorder.

On September 17, the Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the White House following 13 days of secret negotiations with U.S. President Jimmy Carter at Camp David. The two framework agreements ended 30 years of conflict between Egypt and Israel.

October 1978

While the X-Men were in the Savage Land, Colossus (Piotr Rasputin, age 17) fathered a child with the native woman Nereel (age 19), whom he had saved from a dinosaur attack. He was never aware that this child was his. Nereel would name the boy Peter. [X-Men #114-116]

Batman (Bruce T. Wayne) confessed to his closest confidents in the Justice League that he was still heartbroken over his break-up with Silver St. Cloud, and that he would consider leaving behind crime fighting if it meant he could start a family with her. [Justice League of America  #159]

On Monday, October 30, Michael Myers (age 21) escaped from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and returned to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. The following day, Halloween, he began stalking his younger sister, 17-year-old Laurie Strode (b. 1961), killing many of her friends, while his psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (b. 1919) tried to track him down. When Michael attacked Laurie, she managed to fend him off long enough for Loomis to save her. Loomis shot Michael six times in the chest, sending Michael falling over the house’s second-story balcony ledge. [Halloween] However, this did not kill Michael, and he continued stalking Laurie to the hospital. There, Dr. Loomis caused an explosion that critically injured both himself and Michael. [Halloween II] Loomis would live out his remaining years in an assisted-living retirement home. Although he had been told that Michael Myers had died in the explosion, he refused to believe it, and indeed he was correct, as Myers’ body had never been found. Because officials feared further attacks from Myers, Laurie Strode was placed into the witness protection program and relocated to northern California under the assumed name “Keri Tate.” [Halloween H20: 20 Years Later]

November 1978

Under the sponsorship of Canada’s Department H, James Hudson (age 34) organized the super-powered response team “Alpha Flight” in Toronto, Ontario. Its founding members included Vindicator (Hudson himself, formerly known as “Weapon Alpha”), the twins Northstar and Aurora (Jean-Paul and Jeanne-Marie Barbier from Montreal, both age 17), Sasquatch (Dr. Walter Langowski from Vancouver, age 39), Shaman (Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen from Calgary, age 53) and Snowbird (Narya from the Northwest Territories, age 31).

Believing his X-Men to have been killed, Charles Xavier (age 44) accepted an offer from Empress Lilandra of the Shi’ar to travel with her into space.

On the recommendation of chairman Bruce Thomas Wayne (age 32), Wayne Enterprises hired Lucius Fox (age 29) as its new CEO.

On November 18 in Jonestown, Guyana, cult leader Jim Jones led a mass suicide in which 910 died (303 of them children).

December 1978

After several wartime tours of duty in southeast Asia and four years of postwar service, Lt. James Rupert Rhodes (b. 1950) retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and began working as Tony Stark’s personal aircraft pilot and mechanic.

Banshee (Sean Cassidy, age 38) lost his mutant (Homo sapiens superior) vocal powers after over-extending them while helping the X-Men save Japan. [X-Men #119]

Music of 1978
My Sweet and Tender Beast composed by Eugen Doga

1979

After scientist and jack-of-al-trades Angus MacGyver (b. March 23, 1951) saved the life of Peter Thornton (b. December 18, 1933), an agent at the Department of External Services (DXS), using a paper clip, a wrench and shoelaces, he was offered a job and became one of the DXS’s top field agents. [MacGyver]

In Miami, Dexter Morgan (age 8) began killing animals and showing signs that he didn’t emotionally connect with people. Seeing that the boy’s homicidal tendencies couldn’t be controlled, his adoptive father Harry decided to teach him to channel those instincts. Harry taught Dexter how to hide his actions from police investigations, and that if he must kill then it should only be murderers who are escaping the law. Dexter came to refer to these guidelines as “The Code” or “Harry’s Code.” [Dexter]

January 1979

In Germany, 20-year-old university student Franz Mittelstaedt (b. 1958) was struck by lightning while skiing. He had unwittingly and unconsciously summoned it with his own, emerging mutant (Homo sapiens superior) abilities. He soon learned to control his powers to summon and shape lightning at will, and decided to become a costumed champion of democracy under the alias “Der Blitzkreiger” (the lightning warrior). [Note that Blitzkrieg's given origin story is a bit dull and cliche, so this version is modified a bit.]

February 1979

Charles Xavier became the official consort of Empress Lilandra of the Shi’ar. Unknown to him, as part of this process, they copied his genetic material and started creating several lines of viable genetic clone material as a precaution.

In Sacramento, California, police detective John Hartigan (b. 1927) saved 11-year-old Nancy Callahan (b. 1967) from a pedophile, Roark Junior (b. 1961), whose father was one of the most powerful and corrupt officials California. After Hartigan and Roark were both shot several times, Roark Sr. (b. 1934) had Hartigan framed for raping Callahan, and he was sentenced to a lengthy prison term. [Sin City: That Yellow Bastard]

March 1979

Tony Stark’s drinking problem began to have a noticeable effect on his performance as Iron Man.

Former burglar turned electronics expert Scott Lang (b. 1950) was hired by Tony Stark to install a new security system in Avengers Mansion.

After his confinement cell was damaged, the mutant known as Proteus (Kevn MacTaggert, age 19) escaped from the Muir Island Mutant Research Center. Without the isosteric energy fields of his cell to sustain him, Kevin began to burn his body out. The only solution he could find was to possess human host bodies, one after another.

Nova (Richard Rider, age 19) discovered the spacecraft of his predecessor Rhomann Dey in orbit around Earth, and along with several allies, began the journey to the planet Xandar in the Andromeda Galaxy.

On March 5, the Voyager 1 spacecraft made its closest flyby of Jupiter.

On March 28, a malfunction at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania caused a near meltdown.

April 1979

Vindicator (James Hudson) led Alpha Flight on its first mission, traveling to the U.S. to once again try to capture former Department H employee Wolverine (Logan) and return him to Canada. The team met resistance from the X-Men and the mission was once again unsuccessful. Even though they held that he had left enlistment illegally, Department H would make no further attempt to force Logan to return.

Scott Lang stole Dr. Henry Pym’s Ant-Man gear in order to rescue the doctor of his son, Scott Jr. (b. 1969), who was suffering from a congenital heart defect. When he returned to turn himself in, Dr. Pym was impressed and agreed to let Lang continue being Ant-Man as long as he would operate within the law. [Note that Lang’s child was originally reported to be a daughter, Cassie, but later developments clearly establish that Cassie was the name of his granddaughter.]

In Boston, Batman first encountered the criminal mastermind Maximilian “Maxie” Zeus (b. 1946). A former history teacher, Zeus had lost his sanity when his wife left him and had started believing he was the actual god Zeus. Believing that mortal laws did not apply to him, he quickly built his own criminal empire.

Former Canadian WWII hero “Johnny Canuck” passed away in St. Catharines, Ontario.

S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Wendell Vaughn (age 27) changed his code name from “Marvel Man” to “Quasar.”

May 1979

Nova (Richard Rider) and his allies reached the planet Xandar in the Andromeda Galaxy. There, calling themselves the “Champions of Xandar,”they began aiding Xandar’s war against the Skrulls.

In Alaska, the Inuit woman Kako gave birth to Arthur Curry’s son, whom she named Koryak.

Under the effects of a mind-altering drug, Sharon Carter (a.k.a. “Agent 13,” age 32) activated a self-destruct device on her uniform and committed suicide.

In London, England, Sexton Blake III (age 52) retired as a private detective.

June 1979

At age 43, Brit Reid II retired as the Green Hornet after suffering a heart attack. His partner Hayashi Kato (age 30) went to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.

Sabrina Duncan got married and left her job as a private investigator at the Townsend Agency.

During a dimensional experiment at S.T.A.R. Labs in New York, a gelatinous creature was able to cross over into our universe, slaying Dr. Elinore Stone (b. 1929) and critically mutilating her son Victor (b. 1962), before her husband Dr. Silas Stone (b. 1925) managed to force the creature back through the portal. To save his son, Silas outfitted Victor with experimental cybernetic prosthetics that S.T.A.R. Labs had ordered from Omni Consumer Products (OCP) in Detroit. However, due to the nature of Victor’s injuries, the equipment could not be worn inconspicuously, and Victor was horrified upon seeing much of his body and part of his face replaced with sheer metallic limbs and implants. At first, Victor wanted to die, but he eventually adjusted and with physical therapy was able to control his implants.

On Friday, June 13, while preparing to re-open Camp Crystal Lake in New Jersey, new owner Steve Christy and six young camp counselors were murdered by Pamela Voorhees. A seventh counselor, Alice Hardy, managed to survive the attack and killed Voorhees. [Friday the 13th]

July 1979

Spider-Man (Peter Parker, age 32) first met the Black Cat (Felicia Hardy, age 25).

Iris West Allen (age 46), the wife of Barry Allen (a.k.a. “The Flash,” age 46), died during a costume party in Kansas City, Missouri. Barry would later discover that she had been murdered by his longtime nemesis, Eobard Thawne (a.k.a. the criminal “Professor Zoom,” age 40, from the alternate, 25th century universe of Earth-Hexa).

At age 15, Norda Cantrell left the Bird People’s hidden city of Feithera in northern Greenland for the first time, looking for his paternal grandparents. He found that his grandfather had already died, but he was able to visit with his grandmother before she, too, passed away.

On July 9, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest flyby of Jupiter.

August 1979

“The Grand Director” (William Burnside, the imposter “Captain America” of the 1950s) realized that he had been brainwashed and had become the opposite of what he had always wanted to be: Captain America. He then shot his partner James Monroe (his “Bucky”) and committed suicide, engulfing himself in flames. Monroe was shot in the spine, but didn’t die. After years of physical therapy, the super-soldier serum in his system was able to heal him.

Dr. Leonard Samson (a.k.a. Doc Samson, age 39) quit Gamma Base to become the personal psychiatrist of Air Force General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross.

During the war with Xandar, Skrull Empress R’Klll staged a coup and killed her husband, Emperor Dorrek, to become the new head of the Skrull Empire.

Still recovering from her traumatic experience at Camp Crystal Lake, counselor Alice Hardy was murdered by Pamela Voorhees’ son, Jason. [Friday the 13th Part 2]

September 1979

Although still recuperating from his accident, Victor Stone was released from medical care to begin his senior year of high school. He found life difficult due to the fearful reactions to his cybernetic implants. He was taunted by his classmates and even his girlfriend, Marcy Reynolds, rejected him. In addition, he was also disallowed participation in athletics because of his implants, and his grades suffered due to inattention and disinterest.

During a team-up with The Thing (Ben Grimm, age 55), Dr. Bill Foster (age 37) changed his superhero alias from “Black Goliath” to “Giant-Man.” He also revealed that he was slowly dying of radiation poisoning.

Recent Boston police academy graduate Tiffany Welles (b. 1947) was hired as the latest private investigator at the Townsend Agency in Los Angeles.

Realizing that Proteus (Kevin MacTaggert) had escaped and was killing victims and possessing their bodies, the X-Men began pursuing him across Scotland.

On Saturday, September 15, the H’San Natall aliens abducted and impregnated nine U.S. woman with hybrid human–H’San Natall children, to serve as sleeper agents for an upcoming invasion of Earth. The H’San Natall erased the women’s memories of their abductions.

October 1979

While filming an amateur zombie movie in Lillian, Ohio, 14-year-old Joe Lamb (b. 1965) and his friends witnessed a pickup truck drive into a train, causing a derailment. The children discovered that the truck had been driven by Dr. Thomas Woodward, their high school biology teacher, who warned them to forget what they had seen. However, they later watched the film footage of the derailment and saw that a large creature had been freed and escaped the train during the derailment. Investigating further, they learned that Dr. Woodward had been part of an Air Force project dating back to 1958 when an alien had crash-landed in the U.S. When he had begun trying to free the alien, he had been kicked out of the project. As the military began locking down the town to pursue it, the alien grew more desperate and abducted several people. However, when Joe encountered it, he seemed to be able to calm it. The alien was able to repair its ship and escape Earth.

Terry Sloane (the former Mr. Terrific) was murdered just shy of his 57th birthday by the Spirit King.

Frankenstein’s monster parted ways with Victoria Frankenstein.

Upset with his employer over his alcoholism, Edwin Jarvis (age 57) tendered his resignation to Tony Stark.

November 1979

At age 40, Tony Stark (Iron Man) admitted that he had a drinking problem and began recovery. Encouraged by this development, Edwin Jarvis returned to working at Avengers Mansion.

On November 4, a group of Iranian students supporting the Iranian Revolution took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage. Thirteen of the hostages were released November 19-20. Six other American diplomats had avoided capture and were harbored by Canadian diplomats in Tehran during the early days of the hostage crisis.

December 1979

Proteus (Kevn MacTaggert) possessed the body of his father, Scottish politician Joseph MacTaggert, and made a final stand against the X-Men in Edinburgh, Scotland. After burning out his father’s body, Proteus was unable to take another host and died. Following the battle, Banshee (Sean Cassidy, age 39) officially retired from the team and opted to stay behind in Scotland, now that he no longer had his powers. On the flight home to the U.S., the telepathic mutant Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde, biologically age 27), a member of the Hellfire Club of New York, reached out and began tampering with the mind of Phoenix (Jean Grey, age 32) in an effort to make her fall in love with him. This began destabilizing her grip on reality and her sense of morality, which had governed the Phoenix Force inside of her. [X-Men #128-129]

On December 24, the Soviet Union sent troops to Afghanistan to fight for the pro-Soviet Afghan government against anti-Soviet rebels known as the Mujahideen. The war in Afghanistan would last nine years and prove very costly to the Soviet Union.




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    Thanks again for your great work!

    --Vinny

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