Wednesday, 15 October 2014

1996: X-MEN/ STAR TREK in MARVEL VISION (Marvel Comics)

A STAR TREK/ PLANET OF THE APES crossover is due later this year (in the grand tradition of Adventure Comics' bonkers APE NATION of the early nineties) but remember when Marvel paired-off Kirk and crew with the X-Men in an attempt to drum-up some business for their new Paramount Comics venture?

The logic, no doubt, was that a one-shot featuring Marvel's best-sellers would not only generate some fan buzz for the new line of Trek comics (Marvel also published a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie tie-in as part of the deal) but also encourage comic buyers who had ignored the previous Trek titles to take a punt.

Marvel published A LOT of Trek for the duration of the license.  DC had restricted itself to the two ongoing books (covering Classic and Next Gen) and the occasional one-shot and spin-off.  Paramount had hedged their bets by granting the DS9 (and, latterly, Voyager) licenses to upstart Malibu.  Marvel's subsequent acquisition of Malibu almost certainly paved the way for this deal, uniting all the iterations under one company for the first time since the launch of DS9.  

Arguably, Marvel flooded a depressed market with too much Trek (although fans, no doubt, weren't complaining too loudly) but the range of titles didn't allow them to explore more aspects of the Trek universe… and allow more creators to come and play.  

Marvel's own internal convulsions throughout this period, and the hefty cost of the license, eventually sealed the fate of the entire venture.

This cover and article is from MARVEL VISION (Marvel's in-house corporate 'fanzine') issue 9 from September 1996.

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