Catch me up on Marvel continuity

I’ve been reading the “House of X” titles lately. I understand it’s supposed to be an alternate history version of the current Marvel universe. Unfortuantely, I haven’t been reading most Marvel titles for a while, so I don’t know what the “real” history is supposed to be.

Was the background about the Scarlet Witch attacking the Avengers part of real continuity? What happened and when? When did the Avengers reform and who are the current members - it appears Wolverine, Spider Man, and Luke Cage are all current members, right?

What’s been happening with the X-Men? Why did Charles Xavier apparently leave the group? Is Emma Frost the new leader and how did that happen? Who else is currently on the team? Are Scott and Emma really together or is that just the House of M reality?

What about the other titles that are corssing over? What’s the “real” continuity and what’s the stuff that’s supposed to be the alternate continuity?

Basically, can somebody tell me everything that’s been happening in every Marvel title in the last ten years. No big deal - a couple of paragraphs should do it.

***Marvel continuity ***

dies laughing

I don’t read enough Marvel to answer all your questions, but here’s a few.

Yes, the Scarlet Witch did attack the Avengers as part of the recent “Avengers: Disassembled” event. I didn’t read it myself, but my understanding is that Wanda has been mentally fragile since the loss of her children (which happened in late '80’s or early '90’s issues of Avengers West Coast, IIRC). She snapped and started attacking the Avengers. The upshot was that the team mostly broke up and Hawkeye was killed, while a new group of Avengers formed featuing Spider-Man, Wolverine, Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Sentry, and some dude who might be Daredevil in disguise.

As for X-Men, Emma Frost and Cyclops did get together as part of the brilliant Grant Morrison run on New X-Men, but I don’t know what’s happened in the year or so since.


Yeah, jayjay’s pretty much got it.

As far as Marvel continuity goes -

  1. The Fantastic Four drove off Galactus
  2. The Avengers got involved in the Kree-Skrull War (which, ironically, was about who got top billing in the war)
  3. The Scarlet Witch went nuts.

That’s about it.

Oh, and Spider-Man had a clone. They don’t like to talk about it.

Wow. I thought that the OPs were supposed to be answered before the snarky comments came out.

I’m interested in this too, Nemo. I recently picked up the collection of the first six issues of Astonishing X-Men, and was intrigued to see all the changes inside the X-Men line. I’d really like to get back into that title without spending thousands of dollars and hours to find out what’s been going on since the 2nd Secret Wars, when I stopped reading Marvel.



Just because the answer sounds snarky doesn’t mean it’s inaccurate. “Marvel continuity” (or really, “comics continuity” period) is an oxymoron. Continuity is whatever the publishers say it is. I’m pretty sure that everything I used to know by heart about the Marvel Universe 15 years ago when I devoured the entire Official Handbook series is now defunct. Hell, they’ve had two multiverse resets since then, haven’t they? And at least two whole different continuities for the same characters running simultaneously, right?

I don’t know, jayjay. I haven’t read a Marvel comic since the started the 2nd Secret Wars story (I really didn’t want to pick up issues of Thor and Power Pack just to see what happened between issues of X-Men or New Mutants.)

But I did pick up those Astonishing X-Men that Josh Wheden wrote (at least the first 6 issues), and I’d like to get back into the X-Men world.

For anyone else who feels uncomfortable with the word continuity, just tell me what’s been happening in the comic books.

Heh. I didn’t mean to hijack the thread. My apologies, Little Nemo. It’s a visceral reaction when someone mentions “continuity” in any context with “Marvel”…

Well, a rose is a rose, but a simple answer would be for you to wiki which groups you want to know more about. An example can be found here , re: the 90s.

You want to know what’s been happening in Marvel Comics for the last ten years? The sad truth is : not much. Marvel has been going through a period of treading water with many of their titles so they can “pace for the trades”. Meaning, nothing exciting happens until the fifth or sixth issue of an arc.

The X-Men are an exception - though they have the opposite problem. They’ve been tossed to various successive creative teams, each apparently intent on undoing the work of the team that came before.

The reason jayjay and I are so dismissive is because Marvel is notorious for ignoring continuity.

But here’s the bottom line : Most of the House of M background occurred in an Avengers-centered crossover arc called ‘Avengers Disassembled’ - it may be available as a trade paperback. Bad stuff started happening to the Avengers, and they realize, thanks to Dr. Strange, that it’s because Wanda has finally snapped. Her powers were twisting reality around; before the arc was over, Hawkeye and Ant-Man II were dead, and the Vision was destroyed.

The Avengers disbanded as a result. They shortly thereafter reformed, with a core team of Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Captain America, Iron Man, and Power Man (Luke Cage). Wolverine and Sentry are all-but-members now.

Someone else will have to help you with X-Men. I stopped caring five or six creative teams ago.

I’m still pissed about Secondary Mutations. For years, Emma Frost was a telepath. Now, she’s a telepath who can turn into diamond. For years, the beast was somewhat apish loooking man. Then, an accident left him with blue fur. Now, he still has blue fur but looks very leonine. Black Tom used to be a guy who could shoot force bolts from his shileliegh. Now, he’s a walking tree.

In other news, in an alternate future, Nightcrawler and the Scarlet Witch have a daughter who looks like dad, and has the power to possess others. She was part of a group which visited different timelines. She was left behind on Marvel’s mainstream world.

The House of M, another Flash cartoon lovingly lampooning Marvel storylines from the guy who gave us Death Becomes Them and Dark Phoenix Rising.

Little Nemo, I’m sorry that nobody was willing or able to actually answer your question without devolving into that special brand of nerd snark like “Continuity? WHAT continuity? LOLZ!!!111”

Fuck that noise.

Here’s your answers:

The Scarlet Witch’s powers have been “going crazy” because she’s going crazy over losing her children. Her powers have been “making reality go nuts,” which was part of the “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline that happened about a year ago. A few minor characters were killed, but the “big” one was Hawkeye. The team disbanded. This is available as the “Avengers Disassembled” trade paperback.

The “Avengers” book stopped being published, and was replaced with “New Avengers,” the Wolverine/Spiderman/etc. team. It’s on issue 7 or 8 right now. There’s a “New Avengers 1-6” hardcover coming out in about a month, but the trade paperback won’t be out until January (part of a new, irritating trend in Marvel Publishing to discourage people from buying trades instead of individual issues).

About a year ago, Xavier left the X-men to spend time in the ruins of Genosha, the mutant utopia that was destroyed by Sentinels in Grant Morrisson’s run on “New X-men.” I don’t remember the specifics, but it was a pretty generic reason along the lines of “Look where my dream got us” - a pretty cookie-cutter, angsty reason for leaving leadership.

The term “X-men” is currently pretty nebulous - there at at least different three teams, and there doesn’t seem to be any real designation between them. Either way, Scott and Emma were together pre-“House of M” - they had an affair, and then got together after Jean died (once again).

The “House of M” crossover is basically limited to the X-men and Avengers, though there’s a lot of debate over the nature of the “House of M Reality.” The current theory is that it’s a “Matrix-esque” imposition of one reality over the other; that the “real” Marvel Universe is still intact, but the “House of M” reality is currently superimposed over it. The reason people think this is that Wolverine remembers his “past life” in the “House of M” series, and in a recent "House of M’ tie-in issue of “The Pulse,” it was revealed that Hawkeye (back from the dead, now) can somehow “see both” realities. I’m not sure how that’s handled or what it means, since I haven’t picked up that issue yet, but it reinforces the idea that this is just some sort of illusory reality that the Scarlet Witch has cast over the “real” one.

Don’t worry. You’ll be back.

The current teams that I know of are:

  1. Cyclops, Emma Frost (theys sweeties now), Kitty Pryde (who rejoined the X-Men after a brief hiatus following the death of Colossus), Beast, Wolverine, and Colossus (who sacrificed himself to release the cure to the legacy virus in one of the best issues of X-Men ever. Now he’s alive because of some alien race and because a hack writer decided to crap on his noble death. I’m less than thrilled)

  2. Storm, Nightcrawler (last I knew they were sweet for each other too), Rachel Summers Phoenix (who is back from the end of time or whatnot and is replacing her thankfully still dead mother), Bishop, Wolverine, and Psylocke (who was also dead and is also not dead anymore. I honestly think that X-writers have just given up)

  3. Havok (having returned from the Mutant X universe), Polaris (who was driven mad after finding the Magneto preserved memories the mutants slaughtered by the sentinels and after Havok called of their wedding at the altar), Iceman (who now cannot turn back into human form and has a crush on Polaris), Gambit, Rogue (still an item), Wolverine (three x-teams and the Avengers? I guess the fact that all of his love interests die keeps his social calender clear) and the reformed Juggernaut.

I think that covers most of it. X-continuity is never easy. The best place to look is here. They’ve got all the dirt on the x-folk.

I’m not reading House of M, but I did pick it up to glance at out of curiosity a few weeks ago, and the X-Men in it are clearly the Astonishing team, as outlined by Harborwolf. The other two teams are…I dunno. Doing something else. Maybe rebuilding the school.

Uncanny’s been taken over by the Braddocks and Phoenix, and is tying into HoM right now.

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