Nuke Me with the New!

New Universe Publishing History

This page examines the publishing history of the New Universe titles as its own imprint. All dates are the cover dates of the issues. To get the actual release dates, subtract two or three months.

October 1986
The first New Universe titles are published:
  • Spitfire and the Troubleshooters
  • Star Brand
All titles in the line features a disctinctive trade dress featuring the New Universe logo across the top in a light color and a black border with a white stripe framing all four sides. The standard Marvel trade dress with the Marvel logo, a picture of a title character, the price, and the issue number in a set of boxes at the top right is also present.
November 1986
The rest of the New Universe titles begin:
  • D.P. 7
  • Justice
  • Kickers, Inc.
  • Mark Hazzard: Merc
  • Nightmask
  • Psi-Force
In addition, the first New Universe crossover occurs when Ken Connell meets Spitfire and the Troubleshooters in the pages of Star Brand #2.
March 1987
Star Brand goes bi-monthly with #6. (Issue 7 is dated May.)
April 1987
Kickers, Inc. gets a new logo with #6.
July 1987
Spitfire and the Troubleshooters gets a revamp and is renamed Codename: Spitfire with #10. Naturally, it gets a new logo as well.
October 1987
The covers of all New Universe titles get a minor facelift except Codename: Spitfire, which is canceled with #13. The black border around all four sides is dropped, but the New Universe logo across the top, underlined, is retained. Justice also gets a new logo. In addition to Spitfire, Kickers, Inc., Nightmask, and Mark Hazzard: Merc are all canceled with #12. Merc was actually killed in Mark Hazzard: Merc Annual #1, which is set just prior to #12 of his series. This leaves only four titles left under the New Universe banner: D.P. 7, Justice, Psi-Force, and Star Brand.
January 1988
Star Brand becomes The Star Brand and gets a new logo with #11 when John Byrne is brought in as writer and penciler to revitalize the title. The same month, Justice is revamped as the original, extra-dimensional premise is proven to be a hallucination in #15, in which Peter David scripts Mark Gruenwald's plot. David takes over full writing duties next month with Justice #16.
February 1988
Psi-Force gets a new permanent writer in Fabian Nicieza with #16. (He had previously written #9 and #13.) At this point the writer of each New Universe title will finish out their respective series. Mark Gruenwald (D.P. 7) will be the only writer to handle the entire run of a New Universe series.
April 1988
The Pitt one-shot is published, in which Pittsburgh is destroyed. The "world outside your window" concept is completely abandonded. D.P. 7 #18, Justice #18, and Star Brand #12 are tie-ins to the event.
May 1988
The remaining four New Universe titles all become direct-only, meaning they are only sold in comic book specialty stores, not newsstands, grocery stores, etc. D.P. 7, Justice, and Psi-Force get new logos with #19. The New Universe logo is reduced and moved to just under the Marvel logo on the top, right corner of these three as well, while on Star Brand it is removed altogether with #13. The corner box featuring a character from each comic is removed on all four titles.
July 1988
The Draft one-shot is published, featuring characters from Nightmask and D.P. 7, plus some new ones.
June 1989
All New Universe titles are cancelled. As something of a joke, D.P. 7, Justice, and Psi-Force have "#32 IN A THIRTY-TWO ISSUE LIMITED SERIES" across the top. Star Brand, due to its bi-monthly schedule, says "#19 IN A NINETEEN ISSUE LIMITED SERIES". This is the common trade dress for all of Marvel's non-squarebound limited series at the time.

The first issue of the four-issue limited series, The War is published, featuring characters from The Draft plus Jack Magniconte of Kickers, Inc.. It will become the final appearance of the New Universe characters in their own book. At least for the 20th century.

May 2006
Marvel published the "Untold Tales of the New Universe" event. There were five one-shots (D.P. 7, Psi-Force, Star Brand, Nightmask and Justice) plus backup tales in Amazing Fantasy (Merc and Spitfire) and New Avengers (Kickers, Inc.). More information on each title can be found at the Untold Tales page. This is a prelude to Warren Ellis' launch of newuniversal, an ongoing series reinventing the New Universe from the beginning.

For information on further appearances by the New Universe characters, see the Checklist.