comic books superheroes

Marvel Comics New Universe Ad – 1986

Set your Wayback Machines and Flux Capacitors for July 22, 1986, 4:22 a.m., EST – The White Event!

Marvel Comics New Universe advertisement

This awesome advertisement ran in numerous Marvel Comics in 1986.  It was all leading up to The New Universe!

  • D.P. 7 (Displaced Paranormals 7) (created by Mark Gruenwald) (32 issues, one annual) – D.P. 7 focuses on a group of seven paranormals on the run from a sinister medical facility created to deal with the blooming paranormal population.
  • Justice (created by Archie Goodwin) (32 issues) – The titular hero Justice is a delusional former-DEA agent named John Tensen who believes himself to be an alien police officer, meting out justice to evildoers everywhere.
  • Kickers, Inc. (created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz) (12 issues) – Kickers, Inc, are heroes-for-hire, all former pro-football players, led by Jack Magniconte, who gains super-human strength, speed, and invulnerability after the White Event…all at the cost of his brother’s life.
  • Mark Hazzard: Merc (created by Archie Goodwin) (12 issues, one annual) – Mark Hazzard is a Vietnam veteran turned soldier of fortune whose mercenary lifestyle has cost him the love of his family.
  • Nightmask (created by Archie Goodwin) (12 issues) – Keith Remsen is a counselor who uses his ability to enter people’s dreams to help them recover from trauma and mental illness. When you die in a dream, do you truly die for real?
  • Psi-Force (created by Archie Goodwin) (32 issues, one annual) – Psi-Force is a group of paranormals on the run from a government which seeks to control them. Together they can meld their abilities into a powerful psionic being called The Psi-Hawk.
  • Spitfire and the Troubleshooters (created by Eliot R. Brown and John Morelli) (13 issues; renamed Spitfire from issue #8; renamed Codename: Spitfire from issue #10) – Jenny Swensen steals her father’s Man Amplified X-periment (M.A.X.) armor (a construction suit built for use in a variety of capacities) when she believes the man responsible for her father’s death intends to use it as a weapon of war.
  • Star Brand (created by Jim Shooter) (19 issues, one annual; renamed The Star Brand from issue #11) – Ken Connell is given a special brand/tattoo called the Star Brand. It gives the wearer unlimited power, and is highly sought after as the most powerful weapon in the known universe. It has the ability to corrupt even the strongest of beings. Will Connell defend it? Will he prove to be the ideal super-hero?

Geez, these bring back memories.  I loved some of these titles.  By the way, you should check out Warren Ellis’ newuniversal.  It’s a really interesting re-imagining of the New Universe.

10 thoughts on “Marvel Comics New Universe Ad – 1986

  1. DP7 was a great book. It showcased a lot of interesting characters and was a lot of fun. Starbrand was okay, but the ending of that title was filled to the brim with crazysauce.

    I mostly remember the rest of the New Universe titles as being pretty terrible. Actually, I think Justice and Psi-Force were decent, but the rest were pretty forgettable.

    Fast Fun Fact: The OG New Universe characters made appearances in the 80’s Quasar title and in the Starblast crossover from the 90’s. Justice also appeared in the Spider-Man 2099 title as Net Prophet.

  2. I bought all of these. Every single one of them. I liked DP7 especially near the end. Starbrand, for what it was an interesting “take” on a super hero for the time. Ken Connell was not your typical hero to say the least. Somewhat interesting until he “sold out” and costumed up. I seem to remember an issue where he talked to some comic book creators at a con who proceeded to explain the absurdity of the super hero costume. Neat stuff. Wish I could find the page online.

  3. I think I own every one aside from Kickers inc. I loved Starbrand and Psi force especially. Then as the Universe started ending, or getting canceled MAN it got dark. I dare say that if there was some comics that could easily make it on the small screen THESE are.

  4. Christian – That comic book creator Star Brand was talking to was John Byrne himself. Not only did he write and draw the comic, he drew himself into the issue. Then even better, he blew up Pittsburgh with himself in it! John Byrne committed suicide in Star Brand! Hilarious!

  5. I recall these. They were definitely a mixed bag. DP7 was great! It was like what X-Men might have been like if it had been done with more of a slant towards reality rather than superreality. Nightmask was hard to follow sometimes, but I always thought the costume was one of the best I’d seen. Merc I actually liked a lot as well, just for the asskickery. The others were pretty bad, though none were worse than the team of super footballers.


  6. One of these days, I’m gonna need to pick up the New Universe stuff. I’m pretty sure I could get every single one of them out of the quarter bins at a local shop…

  7. When I borrowed them from a friend, I discovered Nightmask to be the most underrated of the lot.

    DP7 was the most superhero-y, but I like how they really varied the subject matter. Of course, seems a waste to have something like Merc, which doesn’t do anything with the White Event, in the NU rather than, well, the MU or a stand-alone book.

  8. D.P. 7: I haven’t read one of these in a couple of decades, but I liked them in the days when I was still a big X-Fan.

    Justice: I thought the first couple issues read okay despite lousy art, but every other time I tried it, did not dig.

    Kickers, Inc.: I hate sports, but the few issues I read of this were surprisingly alright.

    Mark Hazzard: Merc: My second favorite NU title, but I lost interest after Peter David and Gray Morrow left. Even though I wasn’t following writers much back then, the dip in story quality was obvious.

    Nightmask: Good premise, but every one I read was a dud.

    Psi-Force: This was a book I really liked, until I realized the characters were pretty lame, and I’d only been dazzled by the Mark Texeira art.

    Spitfire and the Troubleshooters: I read a couple or three. Worst of the titles.

    Star Brand: Easily the best of the line, and a precursor to Jim Shooters fine work at Valiant. Really great material that remains unappreciated.

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