Here’s the timeline of how Avengers: Disassembled started a new and adventurous new wave of Marvel Comics stories.
The sign of a good company is the ability to not only adapt with the times but change the game. Amazon changed things drastically by allowing people to purchase anything online and have it delivered wherever you wanted. A lot of companies had to join them in order to survive. It was like when Beanie Sigel said, “You either get down or lay down.” Companies like Sears were put out of business for not joining them or keeping up with the times. For a while, Marvel Comics wasn’t doing so well. It was so bad that they were selling the rights to their characters to stay above water. Thankfully, they changed the game and regained their comic book dominance.
I know, I know. Marvel Comics being dominant is a matter of opinion. I’m a Marvel Comics guy and I know that DC Comics has some of the best comic books around. That said, you can’t deny that Marvel Comics is among the best. Most of it came due to them reinventing the way they did things. They went in a completely different direction with their lead characters and their stories. Less cookie-cutter and edgier. It all started with a bold move starting with Avengers: Disassembled.
Some phrases are thrown around too much. Among them is the “Things will never be the same again!” This was one of the few times where it was true. The Avengers faced the worst day in their history. Wanda Maximoff lost control of her powers, caused the death of more than a few of their teammates, Avengers Mansion was destroyed, and she used their teammates to do it. When it was all over, the Avengers disbanded.
When we saw that this was going to happen, no one believed it. You can’t destroy the Avengers. But, it happened. Thor was gone, Captain America was rattled, and the U.S. Government lost faith in the Avengers. That’s on top of all the death and destruction. It seemed bleak, but this leads to a new team of heroes and the rebirth of an old character.
New Avengers and Luke Cage
A mass breakout of the Raft Prison that contained some of the most powerful villains in the world. It just so happened that Luke Cage, Jessica Drew, and Daredevil happened to be there to see The Sentry. Captain America, Spider-Man, and Iron also ended up there due to happenstance. While on a mission, they come across Wolverine. All of this happened within the span of a couple of days (6 issues). Cap looked at this as a sign and thus, the New Avengers were born.
No one would have thought to put this team together. With the exception of Cap and Iron Man, these are a group of people who tend to stay within their own ranks. Wolverine is on a dozen teams, but they’re all mutant related. Luke Cage (as Logan said in a future issue of New Avengers) wouldn’t be caught dead on this team. A team Luke ends up leading after unfortunate circumstances come into play.
House of M
This was the moment where things really started to get weird. Wanda Maximoff altered the entire reality. Mutants became the majority while humans were becoming extinct. Unfortunately, Wanda lost it again. She ruined the lives of millions by saying a few words, “No more mutants.” With that sentence, Wanda destroyed the mutant gene in millions leaving less than 200 mutants with their powers.
Why was this a big deal? This changed the entire Marvel Universe for over a decade. This wasn’t like Infinity Gauntlet where things went back to normal at the end of the series. It’s been over fifteen years and things still aren’t completely back to normal. Some mutants still don’t have their powers and others remain dead or unaccounted for. A daring move considering people love the X-Men and mutants. Thankfully, it paid off with Messiah Complex, Second Coming, and Avengers vs X-Men.
Here’s the funny thing about a lot of the topics here and some that weren’t mentioned. The Skrulls caused them. They were behind the scenes making changes in the world. The Superhero Civil War, The Hand being run by the Skrull Elektra, Jarvis, and Jessica Drew infiltrating the Avengers and so many more. They systematically helped the destruction of Earth and trust within superhero teams. Despite losing the war, their effects were felt soon after when the world saw Norman Osborn save the day.
Having something like this was major. First, you have the Skrull invasion. This started in 2008 with New Avengers. Granted, we don’t find this out until years later. Nonetheless, the seed was planted years before we discovered that Elektra was a Skrull. Playing the long game doesn’t always work out. Writers quit, get fired, and stories are sometimes changed or abandoned. In this case, it all worked out flawlessly. Leading up to the actual invasion, Both Mighty Avengers and New Avengers titles put out the backstory of the Skrulls. We got a glimpse of how and why their plan was put together. Marvel gave us a story, a battle, and the prelude to it all. It was magnificent.
Whoever thought it was a good idea to put Norman Osborn in charge was brilliant. It leads to so many battles and hilarious moments. A personal favorite was the Dark Avengers. Norman made Bullseye, Venom (Mac Gargon), and Moonstone Avengers. He went as far as to change their names to classic Avengers. It was hilarious. As predicted, Norman’s crazy was his downfall. A short ride, but a fun one nonetheless.
A villain as crazy as Norman Osborn in charge of the world’s security wasn’t going to last long. While it would have been fun, the gimmick may grow stale if it lasted too long. Marvel played this perfectly. They got in and got out. Ending it with the events of Siege was a great idea because it fit Norman’s m.o. He overstepped and got spanked like a disobedient child.
But wait, there’s more!
That was only a sample size of the things Marvel Comics brought to us. There was the tragedy in Stamford, Connecticut that caused Civil War. A crossover that split the superhero community down the middle and caused villains to become heroes. This was also where Spider-Man reveals his true identity to the world. One of the first times a comic book story made the news ticker around the world.
Civil War leads to the arc Death of Captain America. Cap literally died on the step of a government building after being shot by his mind-controlled girlfriend Sharon Carter. An image that shocked the world. This leads to Bucky Barnes taking the mantle of Captain America. Bucky was a great Captain America because he fit the more aggressive world they lived in. And let’s not forget Enemy of The State where Wolverine was killing people and almost killed the President of the United States. These are things that never would have happened without Avengers: Disassembled. Brave new stories that took us away from the old way of comic book storytelling for Marvel.
What did you think of Marvel Comics after Avengers: Disassembled? Let us know in the comments below.