Nuke Me with the New!

New Universe Bibliography

If you've read all the New Universe titles two dozen times, you might be craving something more. How about vintage news about the New Universe? Well, that's what this biblography is all about. It's a list of all the magazines I know of that carried sizable stories about the New Universe. All dates are cover dates.

I'm sure I'm missing a lot, so if you know of one not listed here, please contact me!

Marvel Age

Marvel Age was the official news magazine of Marvel Comics. It was done in a comic book-sized format and sold alongside the comics in most comic book specialty stores.

Marvel Age Annual #2 (1986)
Preceding Marvel Age #44 by a month or so, this issue contained a three-page story called "The Coming of the New Universe." It simply gave the title and a teaser description for each series. Not even the series logos were shown. Instead, all series titles were put in the same, generic font.
Marvel Age #44 (November 1986)
To celebrate Marvel's 25th anniversary, for one month the cover of almost every Marvel comic featured a common border featuring Marvel's best-known characters. In the center was a headshot of one of the title characters. Since the New Universe titles were brand new and apart from the Marvel Universe, Marvel Age did a New Universe cover in this style featuring Ken Connell (Star Brand) by Alan Kupperberg and Joe Sinnott.

Inside is a nine page feature article entitled "Behold . . . the New Universe." About six pages of it is taken up with art and a description of each series. The rest is filled out with interviews of Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief of Marvel and who spearheaded the New Universe project), Archie Goodwin (creator of Justice, Merc, Nightmask, and Psi-Force), Michael Higgins (initial editor of Justice, Kickers, Inc., Nightmask, and Star Brand) and Mark Gruenwald (creator of D.P.7).

Marvel Age #47 (February 1987)
This issue's New Universe cover by Ron Frenz and Brett Breeding serves as a nice counter-point to the covers of Marvel Age Annual #2, featuring the heroes of the Marvel Universe. Inside, the New Universe content begins with Fred Hembeck interviewing Nightmask. Readers are then treated to four pages of unused covers and preliminary character sketches by a variety of artists. We also get this interesting tidbit:

The design for the New Universe logo itself was a tough one. Nothing that had been submitted really had the special quality Jim Shooter was looking for. Oddly, though, it was the lettering on the package for a toy Uzi machine gun that inspired the ultimate design. Using that logo for inspiration, Barbara Johnson, Bill Vallely, and Bill Oakley went to work. Barbara's was the design which got the nod of approval.

Marvel Age #48 (March 1987)
This issue contains the second half of the New Universe sketches. This time around reader's get three pages of Nightmask costume ideas from Rick Leonardi, a page of Psi-Hawk headshots from Walt Simonson, and a one page drawing from Archie Goodwin showing what weapons Mark Hazzard carries and where he carries them.
Marvel Age #50 (May 1987)
This issue's cover by Rod Whigham and Bob McLeod asks "which New Universe star will die?!" and says the answer is hidden inside. I was unable to find it during a review of the issue, but I presume the answer was Merc. There's a four page story called "Exploring the New Universe" which gives quick descriptions of each title and a few of the upcoming plans for them. Then Fred Hembeck is given a tour of the New Universe (not Nude Universe, Fred!) by Jim Shooter. Finally there's three pages of unused New Universe story sequences. Nothing earth-shattering, just different versions of scenes that were published.
Marvel Age #58 (January 1988)
"John Byrne Takes on the Star Brand" reveals Byrne will be taking over this New Universe title and gives a few hints of what he has planned for it.
Marvel Age #59 (February 1988)
Behind the New Universe cover by Tom Palmer, once again, the New Universe content begins with Fred Hembeck continuing his tour from Marvel Age #50, but now Tom DeFalco is his guide. Then we have four pages of "The New New Universe," in which Howard Mackie (New Universe editor), John Byrne, Mark Gruenwald, Peter David, Fabian Nicieza (writers of the remaining titles), and Paul Ryan (D.P. 7 artist) discuss what's coming up in their titles, plus The Pitt.
Marvel Age Annual #4 (1988)
In this issue, "New Universe A to Z" reveals the writer's plans of each of the remaining four New Universe titles. It also features a drawing of Psi-Force by Ron Lim in which the characters wear shirts or jackets with the Psi-Hawk logo on them. This drawing was never published anywhere else.
Marvel Age #74 (May 1989)
This issue features a two-page story on The War.
Marvel Age #76 (July 1989)
In this issues "Mark's Remarks," Mark Gruenwald spelled out what he thought made the New Universe such a wonderful concept, especially as compared to the Marvel Universe. Briefly, there were four. First, there weren't hundreds of fantastic elements spread through the Earth's history, just one: the White Event. Second, anyone could get super-powers. Third, the characters were more reader-relatable. And finally, the real time aspect. (You can read this article at the Mark's Remarks Archive.)
Marvel Age #77 (August 1989)
And this month in "Mark's Remarks," Mark Gruenwald tells readers why the New Universe failed. First, Marvel was dividing reader's loyalties between two universes. Second, some concepts didn't stick to the single point of divergence (the White Event) at the start. Third, creative teams believed the New Universe had to stay like "the world outside your window." Fourth, fans also believed the New Universe had to stay like "the world outside your window" and complained about The Pitt. Fifth, it was too different from the standard comic book (that is, super hero) fare. (You can read this article at the Mark's Remarks Archive.)
Marvel Age #131 (December 1993)
This month's "Mark's Remarks" features Mark Gruenwald defending his decision to bring back the New Universe via Starblast. He also happens to be the one who originally issued the edict in 1990 that disallowed any New Universe characters or concepts in the Marvel Universe or any cross-overs between the two. There's also a two-page story (one page if you don't count the splash page for it) on the Starblast event, which happens to feature more comments by its writer, Mark Gruenwald. Thanks to n8 for pointing out this previously overlooked issue.

Other Magazines

Amazing Heroes #101 (August 15, 1986)
Under a simple John Romita, Jr. and Al Williamson cover featuring Star Brand, "The New Universe Tour" has eight pages (plus a "cover" page) of information on the New Universe titles. Most of the information is conveyed directly from interviews with Jim Shooter, Michael Higgins, Archie Goodwin, Mark Gruenwald, and Bob Harras. The issue also contains an interview with Peter David in which he talks about Merc for over a page.
Comics Interview #36 (1986?)
This issue features Justice on the cover and an interview with Archie Goodwin and "the real story of the New Universe." Thanks to n8 for pointing this issue out and sending the cover scan.
Comics Interview #54 (1988)
The cover by Paul Ryan pits Captain America and Hawkeye against D.P. 7. Inside is a lengthy interview with Mark Gruenwald, about five pages of which concern the New Universe in general and D.P. 7 in particular.
John Romita Jr. 30th Anniversary Special one-shot (2007)
Briefly mentions JR Jr.'s time on Star Brand.

Need even more New Universe stuff? Check out the New Universe Checklist or Memorbilia.