Comics : Marvel: The Year in Review 1989

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: A Word From Our Sponsor

This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

The "Marvel: Year in Review" titles are written rather tongue-in-cheek, from the point of view of those living in the Marvel Universe.

In Detail...

Marvel: The Year in Review 1989
Year 1989 : SM Article
Summary: Spider-Man on Cover
Editor:  Bobbie Chase
Writer:  Bobbie Chase, David Wohl, Dwayne McDuffie, Dwight Jon Zimmerman, Evan Skolnick, Hank P. McCoy, James DiGiovanna, Janet Van Dyne, Marc Siry, Mark Gruenwald, Matt Wayne, Michael Ellis, Renee Witterstaetter
Artist:  Bob McLeod, Bryan Hitch, Dale Keown, Herb Trimpe, Hilary Barta, Lee Weeks, Michael Mignola
Cover Art:  Todd McFarlane
Cover Design:  John Romita, Sr.
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Issue
Review

This issue is from 1989, and the ads and content are to match. Advertisements appear from the likes of Roxxon Oil and Damage Control. Spider-Man appears on the cover, speaking out against super hero registration. Of course, nearly twenty years later he joined Iron Man on the other side in Civil War, with devastating consequences.

There's a "Business" section, featuring (among others) a short article about Thomas Fireheart's purchase of the Daily Bugle. There's a series of features in the "Nation" section related to Atlantis Attacks, the cross-annual storyline. The "Homefront" section covers Acts of Vengeance, the new SHIELD team under Nick Fury, and the shelving of the Super Powers Act.

The "Science and Technology" section cover the Vault, Time-Travel, the Space Shuttle Hijacking, and Stark's nerve-regrowth surgery. "International News" mentions Excalibur in Great Britain, also Madripoor and Wakanda. The "Government" section has four more pages on the Super Powers act, while "Profile" features the She-Hulk as "Woman of the Year".

A second "Science" section feature Quasar's power bands, then a two page article on Spider-Man's recent acquisition of cosmic power. There's a "Grapevine" section featuring celebrity gossip, who's dating who, including Johnny Storm's recent marriage to Alicia Masters, former girlfriend of The Thing. Confused yet?

There's a "Feature" on Tony Stark's recent shooting wounds, while "Literature" features books by Professor X, and the "Sidekick" autobiography from Rick Jones. Then there's a "Milestones/Transitions" which gives a nod to some of the other story-lines of the year, including the death of John Walker, the stand-in Captain America.

More Milestones... The "death" of the X-Men at the conclusion of Fall of the Mutants, Patch in Madripoor (is he related to Wolverine), and the grey hulk. Then there's a three page interview with The Wizard, as he talks with pride of his involvement in the Acts of Vengeance. That feature references Spider-Man, naturally.

To conclude, there's a page of recipes (Mephisto's devil food cake, anyone?) and a best-dressed and worst-dressed list. Mary Jane Watson made number one on the worst-dressed, with her tacky new look courtesy of Todd McFarlane. Ouch! Then there's one last feature, on the Vision, a nod to the real-world Hulk TV series and Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie project, seamlessly merged with the fictional She-Hulk movie project.

The last page is Classifieds. "I have 8 arms to hold you." Lonely but fun-loving SWM seeking megalomaniac SWF for serious relationship. Contact "Oc." Box 204.

In General...

This magazine is clearly a labor of love. There are no paid real-world advertisements. The text is clever, fun, informative, and frequently very amusing. There are forty-eight pages, counting perhaps a dozen pages of fake ads, but even the fake ads are perfectly produced and guaranteed to raise a smile. Roxxon's slogan - "There's plenty more where that came from." Brilliant!

Overall Rating...

Spidey pops up all over the place, naturally. But don't read this just for Spidey, you'll get a kick out of every article. The mock-journalism is probably the cleverest, funniest material to sneak out of Marvel Comics in 1989, a year not otherwise noted for much to smile about.

Five webs. Perfect.