By Kevin McVicker
Today it was painfully announced: the imminent demise of the Marvel Universe 616. It has been given only months to live, but many of its devoted friends and family believe it is just a shell of the person they all knew and loved on life-support. It has been given until April of this year at which point in time the seventy-six year-old continuity will be humanely crushed to death along with its surprisingly much younger brother.
Born in April of 1939 to its father Bill Everett, its first words were “Namor, Sub-Mariner.” While it found itself in all sorts of manners of genre and even got mixed up with what was considered “the wrong crowd” in the mid-fifties, it wasn’t until at the age of twenty-two when it met its true soul mate by the name of Stan Lee that the 616 truly discovered its potential. While a much older gentleman that the continuity, Lee had babysat the youthful universe in its infancy and came in like the dashing swashbuckler Errol Flynn to save it and help it find its true purpose.
Together their passion brought forth some of the most adored and beautiful children on God’s green Earth. While their love did dwindle as the years passed and others came into 616’s life, everyone, including those two themselves, knew that what they had was special and something neither would find with anyone else.
While the future remains uncertain for the chimera beast that is to come from the squishing of a 76 year old continuity with a 14 year old continuity, everyone knows it will not be the universe we have passionately put our hearts, souls, and money into.
The 616 leaves behind Jim Hammond, Steve Rogers, Reed Richards, Sue Storm Richards, Ben Grimm, Johnny Storm, Hank Pym, Tony Stark, Janet Van Dyne, Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, May Parker, Victor Von Doom, Thor Odinson, Stephen Strange, Scott Summers, Warren Worthington III, Hank McCoy, Bobby Drake, Pietro Maximoff, Wanda Maximoff, Matt Murdock, Clint Barton, Simon Williams, Norrin Radd, T’Challa, Carol Danvers, Vision, Lorna Dane, Alex Summers, Sam Wilson, and far, far too many more to name.
The 616 has outlived its firstborn Namor McKenzie, along with Ben Parker, Charlies Xavier, Jean Grey, Nicholas Fury, Yelena Belova, Mar-Vell, Uatu, James Howlett, John Proudstar, Richard Rider, and again too many more to name.
To say the 616 Universe will be missed is an understatement. Its contributions to society and the lives it has touched are incalculable. We do know this: no matter what the future holds, what has already been given to us cannot be undone. Seventy-Six glorious years is nothing short of unmatched. So take a moment and thank God for what has been graciously granted to us Marvel fans.