Monday, 2 June 2014

Primer: Some Other Great Timelines Out There

Again, I apologise for inactivity as of late. Obviously I've maintained the free comics posts (hey, it's free comics!), but in producing this revised version of the chronology I've been working on has been slow at best. I originally predicted "hey, I can get this done in a month, easy!", when of course the additional research, rereading, sorting of's pretty overwhelming in volume. Thankfully after I finish next term, I'll have a lot of time around in order to make a lot of progress in maintaining this blog, among other projects.

I had to check over the blog's archives to see if I was right on this, but I am shocked to find I've never made a post with a recommended reading list. Because everyone has their own style of looking at continuity, which I think is the brilliant thing about it. There isn't just one 'house vision' to look at, but different interpretations of events, different styles of presenting that information, different timescales to work under.

I've had this all stored under a Word document for a while now, but here is a list of some of the best stuff I've found:

Blogger Tony Lewis looks at the first three decades (1961-1991), but placed into the context of where the comics started, summarising decades of stories into a month-by-month timeline for each character into the period of 1961-1975.

The Fantastic Four Was The Great American Novel                                 

An in-depth look at the Fantastic Four from 1961-1988, covering a number of inspiring ideas about the sliding timescale and also the theory that Franklin Richards is behind the manipulation of the Marvel Universe.

A massive project, detailing character chronologies through a listing of each issue. It's not my kind of thing, but I know other people are more drawn towards this sort of format. The forums contain active discussions on the placements of each book.

An chronology for the Avengers, with placements for each issue into a 15 year timeline.

Pictorial summaries, reviews and notes for each issue, interlinking each issue into a cohesive, chronological order (currently up to 1986.) A very good resource if you're looking at older issues from the Golden through Chrome Age; it's been running for almost thirty years at this point.

Marvel Saga was an attempt in the 1980s by Marvel historian Peter Sanderson (he's appeared on the This Week in Marvel podcast recently to discuss Marvel Comics through each decade, which is well worth a listen) to take the Silver Age of comics and form it into one narrative, incorporating panels from the original issues. I've not read any of it so I don't know how useful it is, but the 25 issues are collected into two Essential volumes which I believe are still available for a fair price.

A concise look at the chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, up to The Avengers.

A scrollable timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, on timeline hosting site It's regularly updated and incorporates TV, films, comics and anything else to add to that movie universe. It's a really great format which is simultaneously both quite standard, but also cutting edge and informative.

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