Monday, October 22, 2012

Top 10 Marvel alternate realities.

I've said before here how much I love the idea of the multiverse. I am not only fascinated by the scientific theories behind it but also I think it's a great story telling engine in sci fi. Comics feature tons of interesting alternate realities and I thought I would take a look at my favorite ones. Let's start with Marvel's. Now these are not necessarily the most important ones, just the 10 I like the most.

10) Spider-man: India You might not have even heard of this one. This was a 4 issue mini series published in the states back in 2005 and India the year before. In this world Spider-man is an Indian boy named Pavitr Prabhakar. Spider-man, as well as the analogues of Doc Ock and Green Goblin get their powers from mystical elements of Indian mythology rather then super science. This came and went without much fanfare but I found it interesting to see Spider-man transferred into a different culture in this "Elseworlds" type tale. If you haven't read it you should give it a shot.

9) Marvel Noir. This was a series of mini series taking various Marvel characters and setting them in a noir style 1930's world of gangsters and crime stories. Also Spider-man Noir was even featured in the recent Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions game. It worked pretty well for the street level characters like Spider-man but not as well I thought for characters like the X-men or Iron Man. The Spider-man mini's were the only ones I thought were actually good, the rest were either OK or weak, but the concept alone is enough to intrigue me and I hope we see more of the Noir world.

8) Mangaverse. I talked about this a little bit in an earlier post so I won't go to much into it here. The Mangaverse books had high and low points but I was still impressed with the creativity behind the concept of it.

7) Earth X. This was a simply amazing read. In this dystopian future ever single person on Earth has super powers. One of the things I found most interesting was Marvels two most popular heroes, Spider-man and Wolverine, were both fat has been losers in this world. If you haven't read this you should, and the two sequels, Universe X and Paradise X, while not as good are worth reading too.

6) MC2. Set roughly 15 years in the future, this world features a new generation of super heroes, most well know among them being Spider-girl, the daughter of Mary Jane and Spider-man. It also featured a few other short lived books, like J2, the heroic son of the Juggernaut, and A-Next, the next generation of Avengers. J2 was always my favorite. I don't quite get the feverish devotion this line of books got from its hardcore fans, but it definitely had it's charm.

5) 2099. Set in the corporate run dystopian future of 2099 AD, a new crop of heroes emerges, many taking on the mantel of heroes from the 'Heroic Age".  I actually feel like most of the 2099 books were pretty bad. But Spider-man 2099 was a pretty damn good book. From what I understand Peter David went to Marvel with the idea of Spider-man 2099 and Marvel decided to stretch it into a line. Some of the other books like Doom 2099 had it's moments but a lot of them like Hulk 2099 were dogshit. Still the strength of Spider-man 2099 alone is enough to keep this universe on this list for me.

4) Marvel Zombies. Zombies and super heroes, two great tastes that taste great together. For those of you who don't know Marvel Zombies is a world in which a zombie virus turns the world's super humans into flesh eating zombies. While this franchise did get run into the dirt the first few minis and one shots are damn good reads.

3) Supreme Power. This 'Ultimate Squadron Supreme' series was full of compelling characters and interesting, sometimes pretty high concepts. This is another one that was eventually run into the dirt but the early Supreme Power is some of the best super hero comics to come out of the last decade. And speaking of the Squadron Supreme....

2) Squadron Supreme. The idea here was simple, a team of heroes on another universe who were obvious JLA knock offs. They fought the Avengers a few times, long before we ever got JLA/Avengers, and even had their own critically acclaimed 12 issue series in which they decide the best way to protect their world is to rule it. If you haven't read it you should, it's available in trade.

1) The Ultimate Universe. This is another one that got ran into the dirt (I'm seeing a pattern here Marvel) but when it first started it was unbelievably good. Ultimate Spider-man  Vol 1 is still one of my all time favorite Spider-man stories, Ultimate X-men is still my favorite X-men series ever, Ultimates vol 1 is one of those trades I always loan to people who are getting into comics and want to read the classics, right along side stuff like Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. The Ultimate universe is nowhere near as good as it used to be since Jeph Loeb ran it into the dirt with Ultimatum, but it has it's moments and I feel it's picking up steam again.

So there you have it. My favorite Marvel alternate universes. Soon I'll look at my favorite alternate DC universes. 

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