Marvel’s Broken Timeline Is Finally Starting To Make Sense

In a preview for Marvels # 9, the dark secret hiding behind Lady Lotus’ power and the truth on the Siancong War are about to be revealed.

Warning: Contains a preview for Marvels # 9

Finally, Marvel Comics is trying to make sense of its complex timeline, using events depicted in The Marvelsthe miniseries created by Kurt Busiek and Yildiray Cinar, to explain one of the most controversial ongoing events inside the Marvel Universe, the Siancong War.

Marvel Comics’ biggest selling point has always been that its stories, no matter how fantastic they are, are set in the world “outside your window.” The “sliding timescale” is a concept used to “fix” the passage of time in the Marvel Universe in a way that characters do not age noticeably. For example, Spider-Man was a teenager in the 1960s, and he is a young adult man in the 2020s. This created an issue regarding references to real-life events that have ties to some characters, such as the Vietnam War, which prompted writers Kurt Busiek and Mark Waid to invent a conflict, the Siancong War, that serves as a backdrop for characters whose origins were originally tied to specific wars that occurred in real life and can not be held by the sliding timescale. This idea produced mixed reactions from the fans, and in some times even more confusion, but it appears that Marvel is finally trying to explain just what the Siancong War is and why it has been going on for such a long time.


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In 2019’s History of the Marvel Universe (a series of books that map out Marvel’s entire in-universe timeline), Mark Waid introduced the Siancong War (a concept he developed with Kurt Busiek), a conflict in central Asia that will hang perpetually about fifteen years behind current Marvel continuity. This war serves to “fix” the origin stories of the many Marvel characters that are tied to the Vietnam War, such as Tony Stark, who was originally captured there, or the Punisher, who was a Vietnam veteran. In this way, these characters will not age too much by being tied to a real-world conflict that will slide further and further away in time. Fans’ reactions to this decision were mixed, as some felt Marvel was betraying its flagship motto of setting stories in the world outside your window. Mark Waid, however, promised that the Siancong War would get a spotlight of its own, and it finally happened with The Marvels. A preview for issue # 9 – written by Kurt Busiek with art by Yildiray Cinar – shows that some truths about the reclusive Asian country will finally be revealed.

Lady Lotus is a central character in The Marvels. After spending many decades as a crime lord in the West, she returned to Siancong and erected a black dome around the whole country, which kills everyone that comes into contact with it. She then broadcasted a message to the World announcing that Siancong would no longer tolerate any external interventions in its affairs. A group of heroes then infiltrated the country, only to be captured by Lady Lotus. In issue # 9, titled “The Forgotten War,” readers will finally learn more about the Siancong War. The dark power that Lady Lotus is tapping into is influencing the people in the country, making them act as if they are from a distant era, caught in the past. This affects not only the people of Siancong, but the world around them, and anyone who enters the area.

This mysterious power will probably be used by the authors to explain Siancong’s singular position as an “anchoring point” in time, connecting the stories and pasts of so many characters. Marvel Comics’ timeline will always be a complicated thing, as characters will always age at a different rate from the world they are in, so Kurt Busiek’s attempt to explain the Siancong War that he created is surely a welcome one. The Marvels # 9 will be available on March 16.

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