(January 2008 edition)

At long last, here it is -- a revision and expansion of the Marvel Universe calendar, running from just before Maximum Security to the present. Before diving in, please read this list of caveats and disclaimers.

Thanks in no small measure to the contributions of chronologists in the Issue Analysis and Marvel Universe forums of the Marvel Chronology Project, nearly every canonical story that occurs in the last few years of Marvel Time is included*. Bear in mind, though, that some story lines are still being published, and so a number of calendar entries - especially those from Year 24 - are tentative and subject to change. Current and future comics (including not-yet-published flashbacks and stories set in the past) will continue to add content and provide clues that may cause the relocation of calendar entries, so this edition of the calendar will be outdated quickly. Still, the current version of the calendar may serve to provide a foundation on which to establish character chronologies and the placements of upcoming comics.

(*All story arcs completed as of 12/31/07, with a few exceptions.)

If you find that certain comics published between 2000 and 2007 are inadvertently left out, feel free to note what stories are missing and where they should go. In addition, you'll find that there are still some question marks in the calendar. Any clarifications would be appreciated. The "off-line" version of the calendar is continually updated, and any additions and corrections will be posted in a future update...someday.

Many entries list temporal references. In many cases, such references have been important considerations in placement, but you'll also see that many other clues (including more important character and plot references) were critical to placement as well. Inevitably, there are some temporal references that are "topical." In some cases, the topicality of these references is noted, but in many other cases, they are not. It should be self-evident that snow in an August story or leafy trees in a January story are topical, just as a number of different full moon phases in a given month are. At times, temporal references just don't work - a number of Brian Bendis' references to the passage of time come to mind.

The new calendar now uses the accepted convention of using a colon to denote panels (e.g. "4:3" instead of "4p3," as the calendar used to have it). Colons are not used when the entire page is included; if no colon exists at the beginning of a page/panel range, then the range starts with panel 1 of that page, and if no colon exists at the end of a page/panel range, then the range ends with the last panel of that page.

The calendar omits references to specific years intentionally. For the sake of having some kind of number to keep track of things across years, let's refer to the year of Maximum Security as Year 20, the year of the Kang War as Year 21, etc. These numbers reflect a rough estimate of how much time has passed since FF 1 (Year 1). Just continue to humor me on that score. ;)

Each day lists entries in rough chronological order. I decided not to break things down hour-by-hour for fear of going mad, so you'll see some overlap between titles within a single day.

A number of entries have plot synopses; some are brief and some (taken from MCP issue analyses supplied by our esteemed colleagues) are a bit lengthy. A number of entries don't have any plot synopses at all because I started this calendar before deciding that plot synopses might be valuable. Unfortunately I haven't gone back and added plot info for those entries.

The calendar includes "[BTS]" entries - these are events that are referenced, but not actually depicted, in stories.

If past history is any indication, the calendar may have some entries listed twice because I copied and pasted rather than cut and pasted when I moved an entry. (The calendar underwent several major overhauls in the last eight months.) I'm sure you guys will let me know where such errors occur. And if my past history is any indication, I may still have old notes that were inadvertently retained after I changed data and/or placement.

One important thing: the story order in this calendar doesn't necessarily reflect recent character chronologies in the MCP. For the most part, I purposely tried not to look up these chronologies; I wanted to see how a calendar approach might affect story order and actually contribute to the MCP. Russ has been gracious enough to post this calendar, but it's not really "official" - at least not yet. This is one contributor's effort at opening a dialog that will help us establish recent MCP listings. I know that Russ does refer to the calendar as a source (whenever he actually has it to use), but we don't necessarily touch base to reconcile differences. We'll leave it up to our fellow chronologists to point out and discuss discrepancies.

And that brings me to another point: none of the entries on this calendar features a character list. (I have another document that lists major characters for each comic, but minor characters are not included and the issues noted in that document aren't broken up into segments as they are on the calendar.) Occasionally I do list a guest appearance as a cue not to place one character in two places at the same time, but I suppose that listing characters will be the key to translating this calendar into MCP listings. Unfortunately, that's a time-consuming chore I'm not willing to tackle, as I'm anxious to continue moving the calendar back through time. (I'm still working on a skeleton outline going back to the beginning of Year 17.) If any of you folks feel inspired and compelled to add character lists to the calendar entries, I don't think anyone will say thee "nay."

Speaking of help, this product is truly a team effort of a dedicated group of Marvel chronologists, including those who submitted issue analyses and those who hashed out the chronological intricacies of Spider-Man's various titles, X-Men Reload, the Secret War, Daredevil's trials and tribulations, the Civil War, the Kang War (the impetus behind this whole thing), etc. Thanks to all who helped and continue to help!

Paul Bourcier

Year 20: July-December [Highlight: Maximum Security]

Year 21: January-June [Highlight: Kang War]

Year 21: July-December [Highlights: Lord Thor, DD becomes Kingpin]

Year 22: January-June [Highlights: Authoritative Action, Planet X]

Year 22: July-December [Highlights: Reload, Disassembled]

Year 23: January-June [Highlights: Enemy of the State, Secret War, New Avengers, House of M]

Year 23: July-December [Highlights: The Other, Civil War begins]

Year 24: January-June [Highlights: Civil War ends, Initiative, Silent War, World War Hulk, Atlantis destroyed]

Year 24: July-December [Highlights: Messiah Complex, One More Day, Secret Invasion]