A couple months ago on the Comic Zone blog, I speculated that The Sentry may have been too powerful a character to keep around the Marvel Universe. With his seemingly-unlimited powers, and his suffering from multiple personality disorder, it seemed like he was destined to be destroyed, because he was too great a threat to the safety of everybody in the Marvel Universe – Be it an innocent bystander on Earth, an unfortunate member of the bird-like Shi’Ar race, or even the bizarre Popuppians. And The Sentry was intelligent enough, himself, to recognize this fact, and had Thor throw him into the sun.
So, now, Norman Osborn is no longer in charge. H.A.M.M.E.R. is back to being known as S.H.I.E.L.D., and Steve Rogers is the new “top cop” in the Marvel U.
The overall feel of this era of the Marvel Universe is much lighter than the one that began with AVENGERS: DISASSEMBLED in 2004 and ended with SIEGE in 2010.
In 2004, there was an overabundance of mutants in the Marvel Universe. It seemed like every third character that was introduced was a mutant, for no reason other than just so another origin wasn’t needed to be written.
The Avengers experienced their worst day in history, when the Scarlet Witch went insane and killed Hawkeye, Vision, Jack of Hearts, Scott Lang/Ant-Man, and caused She-Hulk to go into an insane rage.
Even when the New Avengers was founded, it was because of a breakout at The Raft, Marvel’s maximum security prison, and an endless number of super villains escaped.
During the next six years, the world was completely changed to an alternate version where mutants are the dominant species, only to be changed back to its previous state, but with less than 1% of the mutant population retaining their X-Gene.
Due to a super villain attack on a school, the heroes were divided on whether or not the new government-mandated registration-if-you-have-super-powers was a good or bad idea, and found themselves in the midst of a superhuman civil war, which ultimately led to the death of Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America.
While Cap was gone, it turned out that there was an invasion from the alien shape-shifting race known as the Skrulls. And when they proved too much for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it was the Green Goblin himself, Norman Osborn, who saved the day and publicly killed the Skrulls’ queen, putting him in the role of #1 security guy. So what’s he do? Hires a bunch of other villains to be his version of the Avengers.
But, this time around? Everything is optimistic. Things are being fixed. Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign of terror is over, and the good guys are in charge, again.
Steve Rogers has founded a new team of Avengers, and the first mission’s roster includes Steve, Bucky Barnes as Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Spider-Woman… up against Kang the Conqueror?
Steve’s also founded a team of black-ops Secret Avengers, consisting of his girlfriend Sharon Carton, The Beast, Valkyrie, Moon Knight, the irredeemable Ant-Man (Eric O’Grady), Nova, and War Machine.
And coming later this month, there’ll be yet a THIRD team of New Avengers, consisting of Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, Spider-Man, The Thing, and Jessica Jones, being led by Luke Cage.
With three Avengers teams actually consisting of Avengers, the world has got to be a safer place, right?
I guess time will tell.