Alternative Calendar Dating for Marvel Universe

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wolframbane
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Alternative Calendar Dating for Marvel Universe

Post by wolframbane » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:03 am

I have researching other calendars used within the Marvel Universe. That is, we commonly use the Gregorian calendar (ie AD, BC), but there are others used, both common and uncommon, such as the Chinese and Hebrew calenders in terms of cultural calendars, or the Holocene and BP (Before Present) Calendars for scientific calendars.

I was curious if anyone here had encountered any alternative calendars used in the MU. I have unearthed two:

Kree Calendar. As per Avengers #134 and the OHOTMU series, the Kree Year Zero was about half a million years ago, Kree Pacifists first appeared in Kree Year 476, the Supreme Intelligence was built in Kree Year 4538 (circa 990,750 BC), Kree Pacifists met the Cotati in Kree Year 4760, and Supreme Intelligence became absolute ruler of the empire in Kree Year 4791 (ca 990,497 BC).

Other-Earth (Earth-6311) Calendar. As per Fantastic Four #271-272, Young Avengers #1-6 and the OHOTMU series, Nathaniel Richards discovered the world in year 1117, the FF discovered it in 1127 (ca FF 271-272), in 3000 the second Nathaniel Richards was born, he met Kang in 3016, and became Kang himself in 3025.

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Re: Alternative Calendar Dating for Marvel Universe

Post by DonCampbell » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:07 am

wolframbane wrote:Kree Calendar. As per Avengers #134 and the OHOTMU series, the Kree Year Zero was about half a million years ago, Kree Pacifists first appeared in Kree Year 476, the Supreme Intelligence was built in Kree Year 4538 (circa 990,750 BC), Kree Pacifists met the Cotati in Kree Year 4760, and Supreme Intelligence became absolute ruler of the empire in Kree Year 4791 (ca 990,497 BC).
This is very probably NOT what you wanted but it's something that I found interesting. In Guardians of the Galaxy #2, Mantis informs the recently-arrived-from-the-future Vance Astrovik that the current date is as follows: "By the Shi'Ar calendar, it is sixty-eight thousand, the cycle of Bright Wing. According to the Kree, it is four hundred and fifty-six Khen-Vell Sah. As the Skrull have it, it is Shift fifteen hundred and (something), and on Earth it is two thousand and eight, Christian calendar." Personally, those numbers seem a bit off to me, seeing as how the Skrulls had the oldest galactic empire while the Shi'Ar have the youngest.

Also, your mention of the Kree Calendar gives me an excuse to voice one of my pet peeves. The Marvel Handbook has not done a good job of clearing up various conflicting pieces of data that it itself has generated. Consider the date of first contact between the Skrulls and the Kree. The SKRULLS entry states that "approximately 10 million years ago, the Skrulls first ventured outside their native galaxy into the nearby Greater Magellanic Cloud and Milky Way Galaxy." The KREE entry states that "the Kree began their empire over a million years ago, within 100 years of the acquisition of interstellar technology from the then-benevolent race of Skrulls." The SUPREME INTELLIGENCE entry states that it "was originally devised by the Science Council of the Kree in the Kree Year 4538 (about 990,750 B.C.) for the purpose of creating a Cosmic Cube" and that "it was elected absolute ruler of the entire Kree Empire in the Kree Year 4791." The SENTRY entry states that "the Kree scientist Bronek developed the prototype Sentry in the Kree Year 1220 (approximately 80,000 years ago)." And the WATCHERS entry states that "Uatu resides in the Blue City on Earth's moon, an abandoned settlement with its own atmosphere built by the alien Kree several million years ago."

So, after considering all five of those entries, one can conclude that the first Kree-Skrull War began "approximately 10 million years ago" and "several million years ago" and "over a million years ago" and less than five thousand Kree Years before "990,750 B.C." and, well, I can't fit the Sentry date into that mess. The thing is, over the years these dates have simply been repeated over and over in various editions of the Marvel Handbook, and nobody has ever taken the time to deal with the obviously-contadictory dates. Even the otherwise-excellent SECRET INVASION SAGA contained conflicting dates for the first Skrull-Kree contact.

One final point. The Earth dates that wolframbane provided seem to be calculated using the idea that one Kree Year equals one Earth year. As far as I know, this has never been established and I hope that it never will be. It really bugs me when I read/watch a science fiction story in which the writer has assumed that planets in alien solar systems would take as long to orbit their stars as our Earth does around the Sun. Star Trek (which I love) is often guilty of this. While some periods of time are measured in "Earth-years," the majority are defined simply in terms of "years" and I can't recall any event being described in terms of a "non-Earth" year. In the absence of any information, we viewers can only assume that Earth and Vulcan and Kronos and Romulus (to name a few) all have years which are the same length. And that's just wrong.

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Re: Alternative Calendar Dating for Marvel Universe

Post by Somebody » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:41 am

DonCampbell wrote:One final point. The Earth dates that wolframbane provided seem to be calculated using the idea that one Kree Year equals one Earth year. As far as I know, this has never been established and I hope that it never will be.
Which is one of two reasons why it isn't necessary to be annoyed/concerned by the Skulls having the "youngest" calendar, numerically, and the Shi'ar having the "oldest". [The other is that those calendars, judging by those numbers, have almost certainly been reset to zero multiple times ANYWAY.]
DonCampbell wrote:It really bugs me when I read/watch a science fiction story in which the writer has assumed that planets in alien solar systems would take as long to orbit their stars as our Earth does around the Sun. Star Trek (which I love) is often guilty of this. While some periods of time are measured in "Earth-years," the majority are defined simply in terms of "years" and I can't recall any event being described in terms of a "non-Earth" year. In the absence of any information, we viewers can only assume that Earth and Vulcan and Kronos and Romulus (to name a few) all have years which are the same length. And that's just wrong.
Two words: "Universal translator". Why would it translate the words, but not the sense of what the aliens mean? If it's necessary to refer to the orbital period of a particular planet, then that can be specified, but if they're just talking about a period of time, that can be translated into a sense humans can understand along with the words themselves.

[And no doubt, the Romulans and Klingons - and Kree, Skrulls and Shi'ar - impose their own systems of timekeeping onto conquered worlds anyhow.]

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Re: Alternative Calendar Dating for Marvel Universe

Post by Col_Fury » Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:26 pm

Right. And besides, in Star Trek that was the whole point of Stardates. A universal way of keeping time across the galaxy that coincides with various planets' time scales. It's been established somewhere(I can't remember where) that a Vulcan year is longer than an Earth year, but the Stardate system provides a universal correlation between the two.(and everyone else)
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Re: Alternative Calendar Dating for Marvel Universe

Post by Somebody » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:27 pm

Well, except in the movie earlier this year, when the Stardates were just Earth [Gregorian] year.day (even before the divergence point, and on futureSpock's ship. In real life, they were originally used simply to obfuscate the actual date of an episode.).

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Re: Alternative Calendar Dating for Marvel Universe

Post by wolframbane » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:04 am

This is very probably NOT what you wanted but it's something that I found interesting. In Guardians of the Galaxy #2, Mantis informs the recently-arrived-from-the-future Vance Astrovik that the current date is as follows: "By the Shi'Ar calendar, it is sixty-eight thousand, the cycle of Bright Wing. According to the Kree, it is four hundred and fifty-six Khen-Vell Sah. As the Skrull have it, it is Shift fifteen hundred and (something), and on Earth it is two thousand and eight, Christian calendar." Personally, those numbers seem a bit off to me, seeing as how the Skrulls had the oldest galactic empire while the Shi'Ar have the youngest.
Actually Don, this information is EXACTLY what I am looking for. I am working on something of a timeline project for the entirety of the MU, and how other races view the passage of time is of interest.
Which is one of two reasons why it isn't necessary to be annoyed/concerned by the Skulls having the "youngest" calendar, numerically, and the Shi'ar having the "oldest". [The other is that those calendars, judging by those numbers, have almost certainly been reset to zero multiple times ANYWAY.]
This much does make sense. There is no reason to believe that all the non-human calendars are equated to exactly one Earth year (although the Kree one does seem to do just that). Differences in planetray years and even numerical systems could accomodate this. For example, human math is based upon a base number 10, while Skrull math is based upon the base number 17, as per A 134.

And is is probable the Kree updated their calendar a few times. Even in human history there is much precedent to this. The Kree rcalender recalibration may have happened at least three times, to accomodate the original dates in Kree Years almost a million years ago, the the lesser dates mentioned in the Sentry article, then the completly different date in GOTG2 2.
Also, your mention of the Kree Calendar gives me an excuse to voice one of my pet peeves. The Marvel Handbook has not done a good job of clearing up various conflicting pieces of data that it itself has generated. Consider the date of first contact between the Skrulls and the Kree. The SKRULLS entry states that "approximately 10 million years ago, the Skrulls first ventured outside their native galaxy into the nearby Greater Magellanic Cloud and Milky Way Galaxy." The KREE entry states that "the Kree began their empire over a million years ago, within 100 years of the acquisition of interstellar technology from the then-benevolent race of Skrulls." The SUPREME INTELLIGENCE entry states that it "was originally devised by the Science Council of the Kree in the Kree Year 4538 (about 990,750 B.C.) for the purpose of creating a Cosmic Cube" and that "it was elected absolute ruler of the entire Kree Empire in the Kree Year 4791." The SENTRY entry states that "the Kree scientist Bronek developed the prototype Sentry in the Kree Year 1220 (approximately 80,000 years ago)." And the WATCHERS entry states that "Uatu resides in the Blue City on Earth's moon, an abandoned settlement with its own atmosphere built by the alien Kree several million years ago."
Given the contradictory information, I would probably figure the 10 million years ago statemt is incorrect, as the one million years ago reference seems to fit in better with the Kree Year statements (ie 990,750 B.C.). But then it does seem that chronology often has to deal with contradictions. For example, Egyptian ancient history is often off by as much as several centuries, given upon which soure is cited.
One final point. The Earth dates that wolframbane provided seem to be calculated using the idea that one Kree Year equals one Earth year. As far as I know, this has never been established and I hope that it never will be. It really bugs me when I read/watch a science fiction story in which the writer has assumed that planets in alien solar systems would take as long to orbit their stars as our Earth does around the Sun. Star Trek (which I love) is often guilty of this. While some periods of time are measured in "Earth-years," the majority are defined simply in terms of "years" and I can't recall any event being described in terms of a "non-Earth" year. In the absence of any information, we viewers can only assume that Earth and Vulcan and Kronos and Romulus (to name a few) all have years which are the same length. And that's just wrong.
Even Star Trek on occassion has introduced other methods of dating. Besides the infamous and confusing Stardates, there is also the Klingon Year, with the Earth year of 2373 coinciding with the year of Kahless 999. And then there is the Kryptonian year used in the Silver Age Superman comics, where 1.4 Earth years equal 1 Krypton Year, and Krypton exploded in Year 10,000.

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Re: Alternative Calendar Dating for Marvel Universe

Post by wolframbane » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:04 am

Another not necessarily Marvel Universe proper, I have uncovered some other alternative calendar systems that could be used within the MU.
1/ For the Hyborian era stories of Conan and Red Sonja (which occurred c. 10,000 BC), there was no official calendar system ever developed by author Robert E. Howard (although there were references to Years of the Lion, Dragon and Gazelle, as well as the month Yuluk in his stories). But pastiche writer Robert Jordan developed an Aquilonian Age (AA) calendar for Conan's novels and stories, most of hich have been adapted to the MU. Conan himself was born in 1248 AA, and his last recorded adventure was 1310 AA. I wonder if any similar dating system has ever been used for the Kull stories (which occurred c. 18,500 BC).
http://www.barbariankeep.com/chrono89.html
2/ Two other styles of dating for Conan were shown in the GURPS and Mongoose RPGs. The GURPS system uses a 8 year cycle lunisolar calendar named after animals (such as the Chinese calendar) with 12-13 months also named after animals. The Mongoose system introduces several systems based upon the region, such as the Aquilonian system, which uses a 21 year cycle lunisolar calendar named also after animals, with 12 months with undescript names.
3/ The character Thongor dwelled on ancient Lemuria c. 500,000-1,000,000 BC, and was depicted in the series Creatures On the Loose. The Thongor novel "The City In the Jewel" by Lin Carter uses a calendar system with the Years 4971 and 6999.
http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/thongorlemuria.htm

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