Below you’ll find our reading selections for the year of 1999, and once we’re finished reading, I’ll post the winners for hero, villain, issue, artist, and writer.
Feel free to discuss the comics and any related thoughts below in the comments!
1999 Comic Reading List
(Check out Patreon for Full List With Notes!)
|1999||Comic Book Title||Issues|
|1||Inhumans||#3 to #12|
|2||Deadpool||#27, #32 to #33|
|3||Incredible Hulk||#472 to #474|
|4||Avengers Forever||#1 to #12|
|5||Black Panther||#3 to #13|
|6||The Hunt For Xavier||Reading Order|
|7||Daredevil||#3 to #8|
|8||Avengers||#19 to #22|
|9||Magneto War||Reading Order|
|10||Earth X||#1 to #12|
Hero of the Year: Inhumans
Villain of the Year: Ultron
Issue of the Year: Earth X (whole thing)
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Writer of the Year: Kurt Busiek
Artist of the Year: Jae Lee
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I was so caught up in reading comics from the last couple of years that I missed 1999. It looks like I will have to check out Earth X. The Black Panther and mutant storylines were enjoyable the last time around. I also liked Fantastic Four #24.
Can’t believe the week has gone so quickly. 1999 is a great year for Marvel.
I am behind in my reading, and will catch up over the week-end, but of what I have read here are some thoughts:
The Inhumans was a great read for me. It was a real page turner.
The Hulk was ok, a good interim writer story, but to act as the final issue of the magazine it was a let down.
Avengers Forever was a nice revisit. As Michael said, it was better this time around with so much of the history fresh in my mind.
Avengers is a classic. I disagree with Michael on this story. I read this a few years back and loved it again this time. It has all of the hallmarks: good writing, great art, great villain and all the heavy hitters. In a week with so many great runs, I found that it was hard to single out a bets issue, except for Avengers 22. “Ultron. We would have words with thee.” Tee Hee. My inner child is bouncing on his chair.
Earth X. Great. I loved it he first time, and now finally have the motivation to tackle it again. Masterpiece is thrown around a lot, but if ever there was a list comic masterpieces, this would have to be part of the discussion. Hopefully the Marvelous year will continue in some form and we can take a look at Universe X and Paradise X. Never read those.
Looking forward to 2000, whenever that may come…
No Name says
When did the inhumans return from the moon to earth?
This is one of my favorite nagging continuity questions that I’m always forgetting, but I don’t think they’ve left for the moon yet.
Do you mean that the Marvel Knights series takes place before the move in FF 240? I’m not sure if that would make sense. Before the Exodus Attilan was supposed to be in the Himalayas…but in the series it is beside Atlantis in, what, Portugal?
The story does mention the problem with pollution in the air, which lead to the move. But, if it is before the move, where is Quicksilver? Then again, if it is later, then where is Luna?
I had just assumed it had moved back to Earth somewhere in the early nineties morass. Maybe in the Evolutionary War? Or another of those early nineties Annual crossovers. Now that I think about it, I remember there was an Inhumans One Shot back in the early to mid nineties. I have the issue somewhere. I’ll see if I can find it…
A conundrum indeed.
They returned from the moon to settle on the newly raised Atlantis in the mid-1995 arc Atlantis Rising (Atlantis Rising 1-2, Fantastic Four 401-402, Namor 61-62, Fantastic Force 8-9, and Warlock & Infinity Watch 41-42).
What a year 1999 was for Marvel. Marvel Knights is in full swing, and things really feel back to normal. 1999 had an incredible amount of experimentation and daring in its issues and limited series, and it had some truly iconic moments. Let’s review:
– As I said last week, Inhumans is one of my favorite limited series ever, and it only got better this time around for me with all of the context from the Reading Club. I find the twist at the end to be tremendous and makes Black Bolt a true leader and hero (I may have voted Inhumans as my Heroes of the Year, but it should really be Black Bolt for both this and what happens in Earth X). Jae Lee’s art is also spectacular throughout the whole run.
– Deadpool was pretty good, though the last two issues were, while a bit incomprehensible, unbelievably funny and totally nuts. Deadpool’s “real identity” was certainly bonkers. I will never think of walking backwards through a field of corn the same way again.
– Incredible Hulk was also super weird (as Dave warned) and I guess was actually the end of the original Incredible Hulk series. This didn’t really stand out to me one way or another, to be honest.
– Boy, was Avengers Forever better this time around. I originally read it when I was trying to go through CBH’s Marvel Reading Order, and it made basically zero sense to me. Now, with the Reading Club context, it was so much more comprehensible and meaningful, though I have to be honest and say that I think it might be one of my least favorite Immortus stories; it just gets so complex and bounces around so much that I feel like often it’s epic just for the sake of being epic and not for any real narrative reason. Part of what I tend to love about Kang/Immortus stories is that the epicness and zaniness always has a clear purpose and matters to those characters specifically; here, it ends up all being in service to the evilness of the Time Keepers I’m also not in love with how little Rick Jones ends up mattering to the overall narrative; it almost feels like there was a different story in mind when they started and then something shifted around issue 9, though that seems unlikely. It’s hard not to love the 1950s Avengers though.
– Black Panther is excellent, but it’s not surprising to me that it abandons the out of order narrative structure after a while. As I suspected, the out of order stuff was more for show than for any deep reason. Reading up to Issue 13 was farther than I’d gotten before, and I really love the later developments in the story. The shift in art styles is also striking yet good. I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of Priest’s run later on.
– The Hunt for Xavier was incredibly average to me. I can see how this is important for continuity, and therefore good to read historically, but man did this feel old fashioned. Still, nice to see most of the old school X-Men together again.
– Daredevil is just totally bizarre, and I’m very on the fence about whether I like it or not. The huge twist with Mysterio is out of nowhere, and while I love how crazy it is and how it resolves itself, it ends up robbing pretty much all of the emotional weight of the story once it happens (or at least shifts it to a totally different narrative). At least there are panels in the later issues where you can actually see the art instead of having to wade through a mountain of text!
– Ultron Unlimited is a classic and of course a major inspiration for the Age of Ultron movie. It’s funny; this time reading it I wasn’t as blown away, likely because I knew what was coming, but I remember reading it for the first time and just loving it. Ultron is so wonderfully evil here, and I love all of the reveals as Ultron’s copies keep appearing (the Ultron-458 moment is one of my favorite panels ever). Busiek at his best, for sure.
– Magneto War was pretty good, but like Hunt for Xavier, felt old-fashioned to me compared to everything else we read. I did find Joseph’s character resolution to be emotionally powerful. This is also of course hugely important for X-Men continuity with Magneto becoming the ruler of Genosha.
– Earth X is one of my big surprises in the Reading Club. I started it tonight having never heard of it and was just utterly blown away. The depth of the vision of the alternate universe, and the immensely complex and incredible way that the overarching story linked virtually every major Marvel character origin and story thread together was breathtaking. This is one of the very few instances, in anything I’ve read, comics or otherwise, where a lengthy amount of exposition made the story better. I also found the writing had the rare quality of being heavy handed but readable, and the artwork throughout was wonderful and haunting. What a way to end our weekly run through Marvel’s history.
– Oh yeah, the bonus issues! The Cap issues were utterly nuts, with Korvac returning! Also, way to end Cap on a cliffhanger, Dave (I kid, I kid)! Black Widow is OK, though the whole thing seems a little pointless (though the idea of the Black Widow having a shadow Black Widow is kind of great). Finally, Deathlok was very odd, and we pretty much only read the origin story of this particular Deathlok (with a bizarre evil clown interlude story just in case things weren’t surreal enough). At first, I got really excited when in the first issue it looked like they were going to make all of the (borderline incomprehensible) action be in the head of a little kid playing with action figures, but then it turned out the action was really happening and the kid was somehow possessed by Truman, which was interesting but not as subversive as I thought it was going to be.
And that does it for the weekly Marvelous Year entries. What an incredible journey this has been, and I think 1999 is the perfect time to take a pause and reflect on all that we’ve read. Dave, thank you for this wonderful experience, and hopefully we’ll be able to continue Marvelous Year as a monthly club like Claude suggested. Excelsior!
I’ll be commenting in full tomorrow, but wow, what a year. One big note to add to the Reading Order. Earth X actually has 14 issues, and while I haven’t read issue #0 or issue #X yet, #12 doesn’t conclude the story at all, and #X looks like it’s going to wrap things up, so it’s crucial to read, and I assume #0 will add a lot of context to the story. While I’m probably a little over-excited from just reading twelve issues of it, Earth X might be my favorite Marvel series we’ve read all decade; just an incredible accomplishment from all involved.
Dave?!? Whats going on? Stopping at 1999? Tell me it’s not true.
1999 and the 90’s recap will be our final list and votes for the 2016 calendar year. One half century down isn’t half bad. We’ve done some serious comic book reading 🙂
This way I have a little bit of time to re-calibrate, enjoy the holidays, and gauge interest for tackling the 2000’s. And to read the heck out of Wild Cards (hint: highly recommend checking out Wild Cards).
I’ll have some updates about plans for the reading club in the next few weeks for sure!
How about doing the 2000’s as a monthly? One year per month ’til end of 2014 in December of 2017?
2000 in Nov, 2001 in Dec, etc…
That’s… a really good idea.
That was exactly what I was going to propose as well. Especially given that we’re getting to the point where there are so many more issues to read than normal (just this week alone has been a staggering amount of reading), having a month to read everything would make it easier for everyone.
I have really been enjoying the “My Marvelous Year” that you have put together. I appreciate the effort you have put into this, and I would love to see it continue.
It is a highlight of my week to check in and see the “assigned readings”. I then scour through my collection and determine what I have on hand and what will need to checked out online. Taking part in the (limited) discussion is also great fun.
Perhaps we can even work together to determine monthly reading?
Oooh, Earth X, Avengers Forever and Ultron Unlimited all in one year. All great. All things I read out of continuity. All things I have long wanted to read again. ’99 is closing out the (Marvel) century on a high note.