| The Jim Shooter era continues to bloom, with the overall quality of the line remaining high as well the beginning of a number of well regarded runs, including Roger Stern's Avengers, John Byrne's Alpha Flight, and Walt Simonson's Thor. Kurt Busiek also begins a run on Power Man & Iron Fist. I believe it's his first work at Marvel. Alan Moore's only work at Marvel is published this year as well from the Marvel UK office.
Unfortunately, Bruce Jones' excellent Ka-Zar the Savage run comes to a conclusion this year.
This year also introduces the mini-series format at Marvel. Contest of Champions, Wolverine, Cloak & Dagger, Hawkeye, and Magik are all released this year, as well as the alternate-future Hercules series. (Due to the timing required in putting out the mini-series format, these issues don't necessarily occur in my 1983 category: Contest of Champions took place in 1982 and Magik won't take place until 1984).
The lettercol in the February issue of the Avengers announces that Al Milgrom will be giving up all of his editorial duties except for Marvel Fanfare to devote time to penciling.
Lots of changes to the editorial staff. The full list is printed in the July Bullpen (prior to Milgrom's leaving).
The August Bullpen Bulletin announces that a new incentive plan has been introduced for their creators, resulting in a pay increase. It also actively solicits submissions for people wanting to break into the business and get jobs at Marvel, which is quite a difference from today, where Marvel no longer accepts submissions at all.
Marvel begins publishing the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, which is a 12 issue (and will be extended to 15 issue) reference series that seeks to quantify the powers, abilities, and other stats of every member of the Marvel Universe. Very impressive, and very geeky. It very much feeds into the fanboy impulse, both taking advantage of it and encouraging it.
- Johnny Blaze is freed of the curse of the Ghost Rider.
- Thor's Donald Blake identity is removed.
- Tony Starks succumbs to alcoholism again, and James Rhodes becomes Iron Man.
- Introduction of the Morlocks
- The founding members of the Defenders are all forced off the team.
- Dr. Strange destroys all vampires on Earth.
- The Fantastic Four have an extended romp in the Negative Zone, come back with new costumes, engage in a still-rare crossover with the Avengers, and then participate in the Trial of Galactus.
- Storm undergoes a personality change complete with new wardrobe and hairstyle.
- Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor are married, as are Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil.
- In ROM, we're introduced to the female Dire Wraiths, who have a much better visual design than the males.
|New characters: Several important supporting characters introduced this year: William Stryker, Madelyne Pryor, Valerie Cooper, Raymond Sikorsky.
Also: Callisto, Sunder, Masque, U.S. Archer, Selene, Magma, Beta Ray Bill, Hobgoblin