The Strangers (Marvel)

Six years after the Malibu Ultraverse was put to sleep, Marvel asked me to bring it back in one title. As mentioned in my discussion of THE NIGHT MAN, I was intrigued by the idea of Malibu heroes waking up in a brand-new universe - the Marvel Universe. So that's what I did.

"Bring back the Ultraverse" was my only directive, but I decided to get at least one character by every Founding Father into the mix.* I used the name THE STRANGERS because it was even more descriptive of this concept than the original one - literally, nobody in the Marvel Universe knew these guys - but it included HARDCASE, CHOICE, MANTRA, PRIME, SLUDGE, RUNE, and LORD PUMPKIN, along with LADY KILLER, THE NIGHT MAN, RHIANNON, and ATOM BOB. With that many characters, and my usual need to give them all character depth, I decided to do what I'd done with the JUSTICE LEAGUE, and asked for a monthly, double-sized book. Marvel was dubious of that idea from the start, maintaining that a double-sized monthly could not be done these days - while I maintained that doing the entire Ultraverse in a regular-sized book could not be done.

But we never resolved that question because they decided not to resurrect the Ultraverse after all. The Ultraverse had been the last successful - and the most successful - character-group launch in comics history, but Marvel decided to follow its own path.

So, at least thus far, you won't be seeing Hardcase becoming pals with the Hulk, Lady Killer and the Wasp going into business together, or Prime enrolling at Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters...



*When Malibu went under, James Robinson asked that no one but he write FIREARM in the future, so I left that character out.