2099: Creating A World

The following is from MARVEL AGE #117.

Marvel Age was a comic that previewed Marvel Comics’ upcoming output in the days before you could just look it up via the Internet. There would be interviews with creators and often previews that were a few pages long. Sketches, alternate character designs, all kinds of good stuff.

Starting in late 1992, Marvel created their 2099 line of comics, which ran until the industry crashed in 1996-97. The remit was it was still the Marvel Universe, but about 100 years in the future. Marvel’s Earth-616, with a cyberpunk bent.

What struck me was how much of this has actually come true, or it feels like is on the verge if coming true in the 29 years since this saw print.

The biggest and most obvious one to me is, yeah, most people have stopped using cash and rely on “debit” cards. But things about the government effectively being run by corporations is certainly more and more true as the so-called “special interests groups” continue to influence our political leaders.

I think the protests of 2020 certainly proved that the country has become more divided than ever, and it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if talks of secession for some states actually became a real talking point sometime in the next 78 years.

Spanish and Japanese have both become way more prevalent in United States culture since 1992, each for a variety of reasons.

We have electric cars that are getting more and more reliable each year. Computers are everywhere. Telephones have become “super miniaturized” — I’m actually typing this from the smart phone that usually lives in my pocket.

In 1992, all of these things were crazy science fiction tropes. In 2021, a handful have come true. And by 2099, they might all be.

I’m not saying any of these things are specifically positive are negative; I think some are good and some are probably not. I just think it’s fascinating that the group at Marvel predicted so many things right.