The MC2 Universe was conceived by writer/editor Tom DeFalco as a possible alternate future for the Marvel Universe, which is set in the present day, with the first appearances of most Marvel heroes having taken place fifteen years earlier than in main continuity. The goal of the line was to produce comic books that were more accessible to a wider audience than Marvel’s main line of books and weren't entrenched in years of continuity, which was later repeated with the Ultimate Marvel imprint.
Three MC2 titles were launched in October 1998 as twelve issue maxiseries:
- Spider-Girl, starring the daughter of Spider-Man.
- A-Next, featuring a new team of Avengers who come together after the original Avengers disbanded.
- J2, starring the Juggernaut's son, a heroic teenager.
A-Next and J2 ended after twelve issues and were replaced by:
- Fantastic Five, featuring the expanded Fantastic Four.
- Wild Thing, starring Rina Logan, Wolverine and Elektra's daughter.
Spider-Girl meanwhile continued publication. However, with the collapse of a deal to sell the comics in K-Mart and Target both Fantastic Five and Wild Thing were cancelled after five issues, leaving Spider-Girl as the only title in the MC2 Universe still published. A few spin-off limited series were launched during the time Spider-Girl was published, such as DarkDevil and Spider-Girl Presents The Buzz.
The Spider-Girl title fell towards the brink of cancellation several times due to low sales. Campaigns by Tom DeFalco and fans of the title led to Marvel giving the title a reprieve several times. In an effort to boost sales on the title, Marvel reprinted Spider-Girl in small "Digest"-sized trade paperbacks.
A five-issue limited series set in the MC2 Universe titled Last Hero Standing was printed, with the aim to reprint it in trade paperback form as soon as possible and reprint other titles in the MC2 line as trade paperbacks as well. In 2006, Marvel released another limited series set in the MC2 Universe titled Last Planet Standing. The series was intended to wrap up all the loose ends in the MC2 Universe and destroy it at the series' conclusion. As a result, Spider-Girl was slated to be cancelled at issue 100, where the character would die. Due to backlash from DeFalco and fans, Marvel quashed the move and announced the relaunching of Spider-Girl under the title of Amazing Spider-Girl.
List of known major differences between Earth-982 and Earth-616
Several events that occurred in the mainstream Marvel Universe are known to have still occurred in the MC2 Universe. This portion of the article is dedicated to listing the known major differences between both universes.
- Cassandra Lang (Earth-982) is a member of the new Avengers under the alias of Stinger and doesn't possess the growth powers of her Earth-616 counterpart.
- Jessica Drew never regained her powers.
- May Parker was returned to Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson-Parker by Kaine, later becoming Spider-Girl.
- Scott Lang is alive and returned to active duty as Ant-Man after a period of retirement.
- The Avengers disbanded after a battle with their evil counterparts on an alternate Earth, resulting in the deaths of several Avengers, (including Henry Pym), and the events of Avengers Disassembled never occurred as a result.
- Conversely, the events of all subsequent Earth-616 crossovers never occurred. This applies to any and all future crossovers unless stated otherwise.
- The death of Aunt May as shown in The Amazing Spider-Man #400 remains valid in MC2 continuity, whereas her Earth-616 counterpart was revealed to be alive in The Spectacular Spider-Man #263, with a genetic clone dying in her place. This was confirmed in the letters page of Spider-Girl #48.
- Thor never destroyed Asgard and is ruling the realm much as his father Odin did in the past.
- Wonder Man's death in Force Works #1 remains valid in MC2 continuity. Constructs of him battled the current Avengers in A-Next #8 while protecting the Scarlet Witch, who was in a coma at the time.
- Captain America was killed in battle by Loki.
Comments on style
DeFalco explained in an interview his views on the MC2 imprint:
THE PULSE: "A lot of people characterize the MC2 universe as having an "old school" feel. Why do you think "modern" comic readers want to read something that feels like the best of the Silver Age?"
DEFALCO: "We are “old school” because A) our heroes act like heroes…B) we don’t believe in decompression…C) we tell single issue stories with subplots that build from issue to issue… and D) there’s a lot of action and angst in every issue."
- What If? (Vol. 2) #105, February 1998
- Spider-Girl #0–100, October 1998 – July 2006
- A-Next #1–12, October 1998 – September 1999
- J2 #1–12, October 1998 – September 1999
- Fantastic Five (volume 1) #1–5, October 1999 – February 2000
- Wild Thing #1–5, October 1999 – February 2000
- Spider-Girl presents The Buzz #1–3, July 2000 – September 2000
- DarkDevil #1–3, November 2000 – January 2001
- Last Hero Standing #1–5, June 2005
- Last Planet Standing #1–5, July 2006
- Amazing Spider-Girl #0–30, October 2006 – March 2009
- Avengers Next #1–5, November 2006 – January 2007
- Fantastic Five (volume 2) #1–5, July 2007 – September 2007
- American Dream #1–5, May 2008 – July 2008
- Spider-Girl (Marvel Comics, August 2001; ISBN 0-7851-0815-7, reprints Spider-Girl #0-8)
- Last Hero Standing (Marvel Comics, October 2005; ISBN 0-7851-1823-3, reprints Last Hero Standing #1-5)
- Last Planet Standing (Marvel Comics, October 2006; ISBN , reprints Last Planet Standing #1-5)
- Spider-Girl Vol. 1: Legacy (Marvel Comics, April 2004; ISBN 0-7851-1441-6, reprints Spider-Girl #0-5)
- Spider-Girl Vol. 2: Like Father Like Daughter (Marvel Comics, December 2004; ISBN 0-7851-1657-5, reprints Spider-Girl #6-11)
- Spider-Girl Vol. 3: Avenging Allies (Marvel Comics, April 2005; ISBN 0-7851-1658-3, reprints Spider-Girl #12-16 and Spider-Girl Annual 1999)
- Spider-Girl Vol. 4: Turning Point (Marvel Comics, September 2005; ISBN 0-7851-1871-3, reprints Spider-Girl #17-21 and #½)
- Spider-Girl Vol. 5: Endgame (Marvel Comics, January 2006; ISBN 0-7851-2034-3, reprints Spider-Girl #22-27)
- Spider-Girl Vol. 6: Too Many Spiders! (Marvel Comics, June 2006; ISBN 0-7851-2156-0, reprints Spider-Girl #28-33)
- Spider-Girl Vol. 7: Betrayed (Marvel Comics, October 2006; ISBN 0-7851-2157-9, reprints Spider-Girl #34-38, 51)
- Spider-Girl Vol. 8: Duty Calls (Marvel Comics, April 2007; ISBN 0-7851-2495-0, reprints Spider-Girl #39-44)
- Spider-Girl Presents A-Next Vol. 1: Second Coming (Marvel Comics, August 2006; ISBN 0-7851-2131-5, reprints A-Next #1-6)
- Spider-Girl Presents Fantastic Five Vol. 1: In Search of Doom (Marvel Comics, September 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2132-3, reprints Fantastic Five #1-5
- Spider-Girl Presents Juggernaut Jr. Vol. 1: Secrets and Lies (Marvel Comics, March 2006; ISBN 0-7851-2047-5, reprints J2 #1-6)
- Interview with Tom DeFalco on the MC2 Imprint at ComicBoards.com
- Comicboards.com: The inside track... (Tom DeFalco discussing why Fantastic Five and Wild Thing were cancelled)
- Newsarama.com: SPIDER-GIRL/LAST PLANET STANDING PRESS CONFERENCE
- Newsarama.com: SPIDER-GIRL RETURNS IN AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL
- Comicboards.com: Some answers from Tom D
- Comicboards.com: Tom D/Avengers Next interview in the Pulse